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A  New  England  Town  and  Its 

Compiled  for  the  Middlesex  County  History. 

With  Sketches  and   Illustrations,  Additional, 

Lucie   Caroline    Hager. 

••  The  thing  that  hath  been,  it  is  that  which  shall  be,  and 
that  which  is  done  is  that  which  shall  be  done :  and  there 
is  no  new  thing  under  the  sun." 


J.  W.  LEWIS  &  CO.,  Philadelphia. 


Copyright  1890,  By  J.  W.  Lewis  &  Co.,  Philadelphia. 


Copyright   1890, 
LUCIE    C.    HAGER, 

J^^^  J©i«i»ton  |&rcjJ!*, 



I  have  been  led  to  believe,  by  conversation  upon  the  subject 
with  some  of  the  older  residents  of  the  place,  that  a  history  of 
Boxborough  printed  in  a  small  volume,  separately  from  "The 
History  of  Middlesex  County,"  would  be  favorably  received  by 
many  of  those  who  are  interested  in  the  welfare  of  the  town,  or 
who  have  been  connected  with  it  from  early  years. 

I  therefore  issue  the  book  in  its  present  form.  It  is  with 
some  misgivings  that  these  pages  are  placed  before  the  citizens 
of  Boxborough,  many  of  whom  are  familiar  with  its  history 
from  the  beginning.  For  besides  laboring  under  the  disadvan- 
tage of  having  been  a  resident  of  the  town,  and  acquainted 
with  it,  only  a  few  years,  I  have  been  obliged  to  glean  a  part 
of  the  facts  from  somewhat  incomplete  town  and  church 
records,  and  the  rest  from  the  personal  recollections  of  the 
people.  Upon  perusal,  therefore,  should  errors  become 
apparent  to  any,  the  author  asks  for  lenient  criticism. 

For  myself,  I  would  say,  I  have  become  very  much  inter- 
ested in  the  town  and  also  in  its  early  inhabitants  while 
engaged  in  studying  and  writing  this  history. 

I  wish  here  to  express  my  indebtedness  to  Messrs.  J.  W. 
Lewis  and  Co.,  for  according  to  me  the  privilege  of  using,  in 
this  volume,  whatever  material  was  recently  published  in  the 
Middlesex  County  History  under  the  head  of  "  Boxborough  ;  " 
also,  to  assure  my  friends  of  my  gratitude  for  and  appreciation 
of  their  many  efforts  in  my  behalf  while  T  have  been  engaged 

4  Preface. 

in  this  work.  Suggestions,  scraps  of  information,  use  of 
records  and  genealogies,  etc.,  have  been  freely  given,  and  ver}- 
helpful.  And,  further,  in  this  last  venture,  for  assistance  in 
interesting  and  securing  subscribers,  I  would  render  my  sincere 

Tiianks  are  hereby  given,  also,  for  the  engraving  of  the 
Congregational  Church,  which  was  presented  by  The  Ladies' 
Circle,  and  for  the  engraving  of  the  Town  Hall,  the  gift  of 
Deacon  S.  B.  Hager. 

LUCIE    C.    HAGER. 






Early  History  —  Formation  —  Scenery  —  Situation 
—  Reason  for  New  Town — Harvard  Meeting-house  — 
Petition    to    General   Court — Act  of    Incorporation  It 


District  Officers  —  Boundary  Troubles  —  Estates 
Transferred  —  Location  of  Boundaries  —  Working  of 
New  District —  Town  Hall  —  Incidents  —  Roads  — 
Fitchburg  Railroad  —  Political  ....  20 


:Military  History  —  Luther  Blanchard  — 1812  — 
War  of  the  Rebellion  —  Soldiers'  Names  —  Schools  — 
Division  of  Town  —  School  Buildings  —  Reports        .  28 


Ecclesiastical  —  Church  Organized  —  First  Pastor 
—  Installation  —  Sermon  —  Mr.  Willard  —  Contro- 
versy—  Rev.    Aaron  Picket      .         .  .  .  .  37 



Separation  —  New  Society  —  Rev.  James  R.  dish- 
ing—  New  Clnircli  —  Pastors  —  The  First  Parish  — 
Methodist  Church  —  Statistics  —  Centennial  —  Town 
Officers 44 


Geology  —  Flora  —  Fauna     .....  50 

Miscellaneous         .......  61 


Biograpliical  Sketches  —  Bigelow  Family  —  P)lan- 
chard  Family — James  S.  Braman  —  Charles  H. 
Burroughs  —  Chester  Family     .....  85 


Cobleigh    Family — Francis     Conant  —  Stuart    P. 
Dodge  —  Di'aper  Family  —  John  Fletcher  .  .  109 


The  Hager  Family  —  Sketch  of  Author,  hy  Jane  M. 
Read 123 


James  R.  Hayden — Hay  ward  Family  —  rfohn  Hoar 
-  Wm.    S.  Houghton  —  Littlefield  Family      .  .  149 

Content  i<. 


Mead  Family  — Wm.  ]Moore  —  Joseph  H.  Orendorff 
—  Page  Famil}'  —  Patch  Family  —  Amasa  A.  Rich- 
ardson—  Dr.  Robins  ......  163 


Stone   Family  —  Ta3'lor    Family  .  .  .  178 


Wetherbee  Family  —  Whitcomb  Family  —  John  R. 
Whitcomb  —  Wood  Family  —  Dea.  M.  E.  Wood — 
George  C.  Wright 195 



Congregational  Chukch Frontispiece 

BoxBOROuGH  Centre,  Town  Hall 23 

L.  Waldo  Bigelow 86 

S UNION  Blanchard,  Sr 87 

Simon  Blanchard,  Jr 88 

Leonard  Chandler 91 

Luke  Blanchard 92 

John  and  Margaret  Blanchard 96 

E.  B.  Cobleigh 110 

Francis  Conant 114 

John  Fletcher •     .     .  119 

George  Hager 125 

Benj.  S.  Hager 127 

Lucie  C.  Hager 128 

Joel  F.  Hayward 152 

Jacob  Littlefield 159 

Albert  Littlefield .162 

Benj.  S.  Mead 164 

Phinehas  Stone 178 

Phinehas  J.  Stone 180 

Amos  Stone 184 

Jonathan  Stone 186 

Varnum  Taylor 189 

Oliver  Wetherbee 199 

A.  W.  Wetherbee 200 

Martin  E.  Wood 213 

George  C.  Wright 215 

The  History  op^  Boxborough, 


A    NEW    ENGLAND    TOWN     AND     ITS 





Some  one  has  said,  "Time,  like  distance,  lends  enchantment  to 
the  view,  and  tlie  pictures  of  the  past,  seen  through  the  mellow 
light  of  centuries,  become  soft  and  beautiful  to  the  sight,  like 
the  shadowy  outlines  of  far-off  mountain  peaks,  whose  jjurple 
heads  half  hide  themselves  behind  a  screen  of  clouds."  The 
men  and  women  who  lived,  and  loved,  and  labored,  and  reared 
their  homes  among  these  hills  and  in  these  valleys,  a  hundred 
years  ago  and  more,  had  they  been  interrogated,  would  doubt- 
less have  replied,  as  did  one  of  the  present  citizens  when 
questioned  with  regard  to  his  ancestry,  "  Oh  no,  we  never  did 
anything  remarkable,  nothing  worth}-  of  notice."  And  3'et  to  us 
of  the  present  day,  as  we  gaze  down  the  vista  of  the  departed 
years,  their  words  and  acts  are  of  very  great  interest  and  impor- 
tance, and  the  labors  and  the  toils  which  to  them  may  have 
seemed  to  bear  such  meagre  fruitage,  are  to  us,  after  the  lapse 
of  more  than  a  century,  invested,  as  it  were,  with  a  halo  of 

12        Boxhorough  :  a  Neiv  Ungland  Town  and  its  People. 

We  look  back  still  farther  into  the  past,  through  another 
century  or  more,  and  lo  !  the  red  man  is  lord  of  all  these  sunny 
slopes  and  vales ;  and  here,  wild  and  free  as  his  own  native 
hills,  he  made  the  forest  his  hunting-ground.  We  are  informed 
by  early  historians  that  the  Ivev.  John  Eliot  of  Roxbury  visited 
this  region  some  time  in  the  seventeenth  century.  He  was  a 
philanthropic  man  and  an  earnest  Christian.  With  him  came 
General  Daniel  Gookin,  the  historian,  who  had  in  charge  at  that 
time,  as  an  agent  of  the  Government,  all  the  Indian  tribes  in 
Massachusetts.  Here  they  found  the  chief  of  the  Nashoba 
Indians,  John  Tokatawan,  and  the  venerable  Eliot  preached  and 
prayed  in  the  open  air,  and  James  Speen  and  his  Indian  choir 
sang  a  psalm.  But  early  in  the  eighteenth  century  the  white 
men  sought  a  place  in  this  region  where  they  might  build 
their  log  huts,  found  their  homes,  and  rear  their  families.  We 
of  today  can  scarcely  realize  through  what  difficulties  and 
dangers  the  first  permanent  settlements  were  made. 

Boxborough  was  formed  by  taking  a  portion  from  three 
adjoining  towns, —  the  largest  part  from  Stow,  a  smaller  portion 
from  Littleton,  and  a  piece  of  Harvard  making  up  the  town 
whose  outline  —  until  the  recent  change  in  the  Littleton  bound- 
ary— was  nearly  a  square.  Previous  to  1750  the  boundary  line 
between  Stow  and  Littleton  was  near  where  the  present  town- 
house  stands,  running  in  a  south-easterly  direction  past  the 
house  now  owned  and  occupied  by  Mr.  E.  B.  Cobleigh,  which 
was  then  in  Stow,  and  onward  to  a  heap  of  stones  in  a  field  in 
front  of  Mr.  Eurbush's  dwelling,  thence  in  the  direction  of  Mr. 
Herbert  Blanchard's  residence. 

Boxborough,  though  the  smallest  town  in  Middlesex  county, 
is  yet  "beautiful  for  situation."  Erom  her  lofty  hill-tops  the 
true  lover  of  nature  is  never  weary  of  gazing  on  the  panorama 
of  beauty  which  is  everywhere  spread  out  before  him.  Which- 
ever way  he  turns  —  north,  east,  south,  or  west  —  pictures  of 
rare  rural  loveliness  greet  his  eye  and  delight  his  soul.  No 
wonder  that  her  sons  and  daughters  love  and  are  proud  of  their 
birthplace.  Said  one  of  her  former  residents,  as  he  came  up  to 
an  annual  gathering  "in  the  old  meeting-house  on  the  hill" 

Scenery  and  Sitnafkm.  13 

(now  the  town  hall)  :  "  I  always  feel  as  if  I  was  nearer  Heaven 
Avhen  I  come  np  this  hill," — words  lightly  spoken,  doubtless, 
and  yet  they  should  be  true,  for  surely  when  one  long  since 
gone  forth  from  his  early  home  to  active,  earnest  life  among 
men  returns  again  and  feels  his  feet  pressing  once  more  the 
soil  of  his  own  native  hills,  hallowed  by  so  many  happy  and 
sacred  associations ;  when  his  eyes  behold  again,  as  in  his  youth- 
ful days,  the  delightful  scenery  so  familiar  grown;  when  his 
hand  clasps  the  hand  of  neighbor  and  friend  as  in  early  youth, 
and  his  ears  hear  as  of  old  the  loved  voices  of  his  childhood, — 
he  may  feel  more  nearly  akin  to  the  early  days  of  free-hearted 
innocence  and  happiness,  and  therefore  "nearer  Heaven." 

To  the  eastward,  in  the  distance,  the  gleaming  church  spires 
designate  the  position  of  the  three  Acton  villages,  while  in  a 
southerly  direction  the  new  citj^  of  Marlborough  lies  quietly 
resting  upon  her  sister  liills.  Turning  toward  the  western  hori- 
zon, Monadnock,  Wachusett  and  other  eminences  meet  the  eye, 
while  to  the  north-east,  the  village  spires  of  Littleton  and 
Westford  are  visible  amid  the  distant  trees. 

The  residents  on  the  outskirts  of  the  towns  mentioned,  — 
Stow,  Littleton  and  Harvard, —  drawn  there  probably  by  the  fer- 
tility of  the  soil,  tilled  their  farms  and  raised  their  crops,  but 
found  themselves  subjected  to  much  inconvenience  through 
their  remoteness  from  any  place  of  public  worship.  So  they 
formed  a  society  among  themselves,  purchased  the  old  meeting- 
house in  Harvard  in  1775,  and  then  petitioned  the  General 
Court  to  be  set  off  as  a  separate  town. 

The  town  is  situated  in  the  west  central  part  of  Middlesex 
county,  and  is  bounded  north  by  Harvard  and  Littleton,  east 
by  Littleton  and  Acton,  south  by  Stow,  and  west  by  Harvard. 
From  the  assessors'  report  for  the  year  1889  we  have  the  follow- 
ing :  (3,428  acres  of  land :  total  valuation  of  assessed  estate, 
1(246,700  ;  polls,  108  ;  number  of  scholars  in  the  public  schools, 
G3.  According  to  the  census  of  1885  the  population  was  348 ; 
in  1850  it  numbered  395  ;  and  in  1837  the  number  was  433. 
The  number  of  voters  in  1889  was  76  ;  in  1834  the  number 
was    99.     Li    1847  the  whole  valuation  was  1268,913.     The 

14         Boxhorovgli :  a  New  England  Toivn  and  its  People. 

amount  of  taxes  for  1889  Avas  2,810.71  ;  in  1817  the  amount 
was  1,299.08.  In  the  town  safe,  in  very  good  condition,  there 
is  an  outline  map  on  parchment  by  Silas  Holman  —  scale  two 
hundred  rods  to  an  inch.  His  survey  was  made  in  1791,  and 
the  area  given  is  7,036  acres  and  100  rods.  By  a  com- 
parison of  some  of  the  foregoing  figures,  it  \vould  seem  that  the 
town  had  been  slowly  losing  ground  for  at  least  a  half  century. 
There  seem  to  be  good  reasons  for  this.  It  has  been  a  farming 
community  from  the  first ;  but  although  smallest  in  population 
of  any  town  in  Middlesex  county,  it  yet  ranks  second  only  in 
agriculture.  The  value  of  its  agricultural  products  in  1885 
was  |592,349.  But  it  is  situated  at  a  distance  from  market 
towns  and  main  thorouglifares ;  though  two  busy  streams, 
Stony  Brook  and  Assabet  river,  have  their  source  here,  it  has 
no  water-power  of  its  own  by  which  the  many  industries  of  the 
present  age  are  carried  forward  to  so  great  an  extent  in  other 
places ;    it  has  not  the  advantage  of  l)eing  a  railroad  centre. 

The  Fitchburg  Railroad  skirts  its  eastern  l)order,  Avith 
stations  at  both  T.ittleton  and  Acton  —  a  flag  station  at  Hoar's 
Crossing  in  Boxborough  —  and  that  is  all ;  it  was  of  later 
incorporation  than  any  of  the  other  towns  about  us.  As  a  farm- 
ing town  it  began  its  existence  over  a  century  ago,  and  as  such 
it  is  destined  to  remain.  There  is  no  employment  other  than 
farming  to  call  in  those  from  without,  and  lier  own  sons  and 
daughters  aie  drawn  away  to  other  towns  and  cities  in  the  hope 
of  enjoying  their  greater  advantages.  A  good  town  for  one's 
birthplace ;  a  good  place  to  begin  the  culture  of  those  sterling 
qualities  which  shall  grow  and  increase  and  actuate  in  all  the 
affairs  of  after-life. 

As  I  look  at  the  materials  before  me  for  the  making  of  this 
history  of  Boxborough,  gathered  in  man}^  different  ways  and 
brought  together  under  various  heads  and  dates,  I  feel  as 
though  it  would  be,  at  least,  a  saving  of  thought  and  labor, 
could  one  do  what  the  "projector"  in  Gulliver's  Travels  was 
trying  to  accomplish ;  viz.,  the  writing  of  books  of  philosophy, 
poetry,  politics,  laws,  mathematics,  theology  and  history  (?) 
without   any   assistance   whatever   from   study   or   genius,   by 

Harvard  Meeting-lioiise.  15 

simpl}''  throwing  upon  a  frame  all  the  words  of  his  vocabulary,  — 
in  the  "  ordinar}- pi'oportion  of  verbs,  participles,  nouns,"  etc., — 
and  then  setting  his  pupils  at  the  work  of  grinding  out  the 
various  tomes.  But  upon  second  thought  it  would  be  better, 
doubtless,  to  classify  and  bring  under  the  correct  dates  and 
headings  these  facts  and  incidents  of  early  times. 

As  we  have  already  remarked,  it  was  for  convenience  of 
public  worship,  not  the  desire  for  a  new  town,  that  first  led  the 
residents  of  these  remote  portions  of  three  other  towns  to  band 
themselves  together.  The  purchase  of  a  church  building  has 
also  been  alluded  to.  In  an  ancient  record  purporting  to  be 
"  The  Town  Book  for  Births  and  Deaths  and  Strays  and  Poor 
Persons  for  Boxborough,"  we  find  the  following :  — 

"  At  a  meeting  Held  on  the  31  Day  of  January,  1775,  By 
a  Sartain  Society  part  Belonging  to  Stow  and  part  of  Littleton 
and  part  of  Harvard,  at  the  house  of  En^  Abel  Fletcher,  in 
order  to  Erect  a  meatting-house  for  the  publick  worship  of 
God  —  lly.  chose  Mr.  Coolidge  Moderator,  2  ly.  Chose  Mr. 
Bennet  Wood  of  Littleton,  and  Mr.  Joseph  Stone  of  Stow,  a 
Committee  for  purchasing  Harvard  Old  meatting-House. 

A  Covenant  to  indemnify  s^  Committee : 

This  may  certify  that  we  the  subscribers  Do  Covenant  and 
engage  with  Each  other  that  we  will  pay  our  subscriptions  as 
is  hereafter  set  Down  towards  purchasing  the  Old  meatting 
hous  of  Harvard,  for  which  purpose  we  have  chosen  Mr.  Bennet 
Wood  of  Littleton  and  Mr.  Joseph  Stone  of  Stow  to  Represent 
and  act  for  us  at  a  vandue  in  order  for  Sail  of  si  House  on  the 
Second  Day  of  February  next  and  Do  engage  hereby  to  fulfill 
according  as  they  the  s^  Bennet  Wood  and  Joseph  Stone  Shall 
bid  or  otherwaj's  agre  at  a^  vandue,  in  testimony  thereof  we  Do 
hereunto  set  our  hands  this  31  Day  of  January,  1775. 

Silas  Wetherbee         .  .  One-quarter  part. 

Edward  Brown  .  .       One-sixteenth  part. 

£       s.       d. 

Joseph  Stone    .         .         .         .         .200 
Samuel  Wetherbee    .  .  .  .300 

16        Boxhorougli 


Phinehas  Wetlierbee 
Abel  Fletclier 
Reuben  Wetheibee    . 
John  Taylor 
Epliraim  Whitconib 
Oliver  Taylor 
Solomon  Taylor 
Henry  Coolidge 
Levi  Wetlierbee 
James  Whitcomb, 
Abel  Whitcomb 
Boston  Draper 
Lieut.  Daniel  Wetlierbee 

Edward  Wetherbee,    2,000    of    shingles, 
adjourn  to  meatting  hous  Spot/' 

Then  the  society  met  and  voted  to  accept  the  Committee's 
report,  and  farther  "voted  to  take  down  s^  Old  meatting  liouse 
and  move  it  to  the  spot  agreed  upon  By  s'^  Society  and  Kaise 
the  Same."  Mr.  Silas  Wetherbee  is  recorded  as  making  a 
present  to  the  society  of  three  acres  of  land  "  for  the  use  of  a 
meatting  hous  Lot."  Record  is  also  made  of  the  pecuniary 
aid  rendered  by  each  member  of  the  new  society,  and  of  the 
Avork  performed  upon  the  newly  ].)urchased  house  of  worship. 
Nov.  25,  1776,  the  society  "voted  to  Except  of  the  Report  of 
Examine   accounts   for  work   done 

nd  I  own  and  its 






.       1 






.      1 



.      1 






.      0 



.      0 






.      0 



.      0 









.      1 



of    shingles.     31 


Voted  to 

the  Committee  Chosen 
which  is  as  followeth  : 


Daniel  Wetherbee     . 
Abel  Fletcher 
Epliraim  Whitcomb 
Samuel  Wetherbee 
James  Whitcomb,  Jr, 
Abel  Whitcomb 
Phinehas  Wetherbee 
Henry  Cooleclge 
Bennet  Wood 

£       s. 



.       26  17 



17  12 



25  13 



19     7 



26  17 



19     0 



12  12 



9  15 



31  13 



Petition,  to    General   Court.  17 

Oliver  Taylor 
Solomon  Taylor 
Boston  Draper 

















Old  ten. 

We  the  subscribers  Being  appointed  a  Committee  to  Ex- 
amine the  accounts  of  the  Society  of  Stow,  Littleton,  and 
Harvard  have  accordingly  Examined  the  Same  and  we  find 
Due  for  Each  man  above  Named  to  pay  the  sum  as  set  against 
his  Name  in  the  List  above  written." 

hi  1777,  November  24,  the  society  again  met  and  "voted 
to  chuse  a  Committee  to  Petition  the  General  Cort  to  Sett  of 
s'i  Society,"  and  they  accordingly  chose  Silas  Taylor,  James 
Whitcomb  and  Bennet  Wood  a  committee  for  this  purpose. 
The  new  society  seems  to  have  been  unsuccessful  in  their 
efforts  in  this  direction  at  the  first,  but  committees  were 
repeatedly  chosen  from  among  her  citizens  to  present  the 
petition  to  the  General  (~!ourt,  and  June  14,  1779,  they  voted 
to  apply  to  ]Mr.  Francis  Dana,  attorney,  —  of  whom  Hon. 
Richard  H.  Dana  was  a  grandson,  —  <•'  to  Carry  on  our 
Memorialist  Petition  and  Present  it  to  the  General  Court,  and 
voted  ^100  for  that  purpose."  But  the  attorney's  efforts, 
even,  must  have  failed,  or  the  $100  was  too  small  a  sum  to 
attract  him  to  the  cause  for  a  sufficient  length  of  time,  for 
during  tlie  next  four,  years  the  names  of  committees  from 
among  the  citizens  are  often  recorded.  In  1780,  when  a 
committee  was  again  chosen  to  apply  to  the  General  Court  to 
be  set  off,  they  also  voted  "  to  chuse  a  committee  to  treat  with 
the  obstinate  part  of  Our  Society  in  Littleton."  The  "  obstinate 
party "  is  referred  to  again  a  little  later.  It  is  not  strange 
that  the  towns  called  upon  to  jdeld  up  a  part  of  their  own 
territory  to  form  a  new  town  should  make  objection,  but  there 
is  no  record  of  any  demur  on  the  part  of  either  Stow  or 
Harvard.  Littleton  seems  to  have  been  opposed  to  the  tran- 
saction from  the  beginning.  Three  times  more  —  December, 
1780,  January,  1782,  and  January  21,  1783  —  the  same  petition 
is  presented  to   the   General   Court,   and  at  last,  after  a  six 

18         Boxhoroiigh  :  a  JVew  England  Town  and  its  People. 

years'  struggle,  on  the  24th  of  Februaiy,  1783,  the  pe- 
tition is  granted.  The  following  is  a  copy  of  the  Act  of 
Incorporation  : 

Commonwealth  of  Massachusetts,  in  the  year  of  Our  Lord  One  Thousand 
Seven  Hundred  and  Eighty-three. —  An  Act  for  Erecting  a  District  in 
tlie  County  of  Middlesex  by  the  name  of  Boxborougli. 
Whereas  a  number  of  Inhabitants  living  in  the  Extreme  Parts  of  the 
Towns  of  Stow,  Harvard  and  Littleton,  Labour  under  many  Inconveniences 
by  Reason  of  their  grate  distance  from  any  Place  of  Publick  Worship  and 
have  Requested  this  Court  that  they  May  be  Incorporated  into  a  District 
with  all  the  Privileges  of  a  town,  that  of  sending  a  Representative  to  the 
General  Court  Excepted  —  Be  it  therefore  Enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House 
of  Representatives  in  General  Court  Assembled,  and  by  the  Authority  of  the 
same,  That  a  Part  of  Stow,  a  Part  of  Harvard  and  a  Part  of  Littleton,  all 
which  are  Included  within  the  Boundarys  following,  viz :  Beginning  at  the 
Road  Southerly  of  John  Robins'  Buildings,  and  Running  Southerly  in  Acton 
line  to  a  Place  called  Flag  hill,  being  two  miles,  three-quarters  and  ten  rods 
to  a  heap  of  Stones;  from  thence  Westerly  in  Stow,  Two  miles  and  a  quar- 
ter to  a  Stake  and  Pillar  of  Stones  in  the  Harvard  Line,  then  turning 
Northerly  through  part  of  Harvard  to  a  white  oak  tree  by  a  Causeway;  from 
thence  to  the  Place  first  Set  out  from,  be  and  hereby  is  incorporated  into  a 
District  by  the  Name  of  Boxborough.  And  all  the  Polls  and  Estates  that 
are  Included  within  the  said  Boundaries  shall  belong  to  the  said  District, 
Except  those  of  such  of  the  Inhabitants  of  that  Part  Set  off  from  Littleton 
as  Shall  not,  within  the  Term  of  twelve  months  from  the  Passing  of  this  act 
Return  their  Names  into  the  office  of  the  Secretary  of  this  Common-wealth, 
Signifying  their  Desire  to  become  Inhabitants  of  the  said  District.  And  be 
it  further  Enacted  by  the  authority  aforesaid  that  the  said  District  be  and 
hereby  is  invested  with  all  the  Powers,  Privileges  and  Immunities  that 
Towns  in  this  Common-wealth  do  or  may  Injoy,  Except  the  Privilege  of 
Sending  a  Representative  to  the  General  Court,  and  the  Inhabitants  of  the 
said  District  Shall  have  leave,  from  time  to  time,  to  join  with  the  Town  of 
Stow  in  Choosing  a  Representative,  and  shall  be  notified  of  the  Time  and 
Place  of  Election  in  Like  manner  with  the  Inhabitants  of  the  said  Town  of 
Stow  by  a  Warrant  from  the  Selectmen  of  the  said  Town  to  a  Constable  or 
Constables  of  the  said  District,  Requiring  him  or  them  to  warn  the  Inhabi- 
tants to  attend  the  meeting  at  the  time  and  Place  appointed,  which  warrant 
shall  be  Seasonably  Returned  by  the  said  Constable  or  Constables  of  the 
said  District,  and  the  Representative  may  be  Chosen  Indifferently  from  the 
said  Town  or  District,  the  Pay  or  allowance  to  be  borne  by  the  town  and 
District  in  Proportion  as  they  shall,  from  time  to  time.  Pay  to  the  State  Tax ; 
and  be  it  further  Enacted  that  Jonathan  Wood,  Esq.,  of  Stow,  be  and  hereby 
is  impowered  to  Issue  this  Warrant,  directed  to  some  Principal  Inhabitant 
within  the  said  District,  Requiring  him  to  warn  the  Inhabitants  of  the  said 
District,  Qualified  to  vote  in  Town  affairs,  to  assemble  at  some  Suitable  time 
and  Place  in  the  said  District  to  Chuse  Such  officers  as  Towns  and  Districts 

Act  of  Incoiyoration.  19 

are  required  to  Chuse  in  the  month  of  March  annually,  Provided,  Neverthe- 
less, that  the  Inhabitants  of  the  said  District  Shall  Pay  their  Proportionable 
Part  of  all  Such  Town,  County  and  State  Taxes  as  are  already  assessed  by 
the  said  Respective  Towns  from  which  they  are  taken,  and  their  proportion- 
able part  of  all  Publick  Debts  Due  from  the  said  Towns,  and  also  Provide 
for  the  Support  of  all  the  Poor  who  were  Inhabitants  within  the  said  Dis- 
trict before  the  passing  of  this  Act,  and  shall  be  Brought  back  for  main- 
tenance Hereafter,  And  whereas  it  is  fit  and  Necessary  that  the  whole  of 
the  said  District  should  belong  to  one  and  the  same  County,  be  it  therefore 
further  Enacted,  by  the  authority  aforesaid,  that  that  Part  of  the  said 
District  which  is  set  off  from  the  Town  of  Harvard,  in  the  County  of 
Worcester,  shall  be  and  hereby  is  annexed  and  sei  to  the  County  of  Middle- 
sex, and  the  line  established  by  this  act  as  the  Boundaries  betwixt  the  said 
Town  of  Harvard  and  the  said  District,  shall  hereafter  be  the  boundary  Line 
betwixt  the  said  County  of  Middlesex  and  the  said  County  of  Worcester. 

This   instrument  bears   the   signatures   of    Samuel   Adams, 
president  of  the  Senate,  and  John  Hancock,  Governor. 

20         Boxhorouf/h :  a  JVew  Utu/Iand  Town  and  its  People. 





Accordingly,  Jonathan  Wood,  Justice  of  the  Peace  of  Stow, 
issued  the  warrant  —  notifying  and  warning  all  voters  to  assem- 
ble at  the  meeting-house  that  they  might  perfect  their  organiza- 
tion by  the  election  of  the  customary  officers  —  to  Bennet 
Wood,  one  of  the  principal  inhabitants  of  the  new  District  of 
Boxborough.  To  the  people  of  today  the  officers  chosen  and  the 
offices  filled,  on  that  10th  of  March,  1783,  may  not  be 
without  interest,  and  we  give  them  entire.  Jonathan  Wood, 
Esq.,  presided  as  moderator. 

Capt.  Silas  Taylor  was  chosen  clerk  of  the  District ;  Capt. 
Silas  Taylor,  Silas  Wetherbee,  Ens.  Abel  Fletcher,  Lieut. 
James  Whitcomb,  Lieut.  Ephraim  Whitcomb,  selectmen  ;  Capt. 
Phinehas  Taylor,  treasurer;  Capt.  Silas  Taylor,  Abel  Wliit- 
comb,  Lieut.  Ephraim  Whitcomb,  assessors ;  Joseph  Howe, 
Lieut.  James  Whitcomb,  Bennet  Wood,  constables ;  Bennet 
Wood,  Paul  Hay  ward,  wardens ;  Judah  AVetherbee,  Capt.  Eleazer 
Fletcher,  tithing-men ;  Oliver  Mead,  Ephraim  Taylor,  Bennet 
Wood,  Oliver  Taylor,  highway  surveyors  and  collectors ; 
Oliver  Wood,  sealer  of  leather;  Edward  Brown,  Thomas  Law- 
rence, fish-reeves ;  Capt.  Phinehas  Taylor,  Lieut.  Nehemiah 
Batchellor,  deer-reeves  ;  Joseph  Raymond,  Boston  Draper,  hog- 
reeves  ;  Richard  Wetherbee,  Ebenezer  Phillips,  fence-viewers  ; 
Phinehas  Wetherbee,  Ephraim  Wetlierbee,  firewards  ;  Jonathan 
Wetherbee,    Joseph    Sawyer,    field-drivers ;     Edward    Brown, 

Boundary   Troubles.  21 

Solomon  Taj-lor,  surveyors  of  boards  and  shingles ;  Jonathan 
Wood,  justice  of  the  peace. 

From  time  to  time  other  oificers  were  chosen,  as  pound- 
keeper,  surveyor  of  luml)er,  hoops  and  staves,  vendue-master, 
sexton,  etc. 

The  disinclination,  on  the  part  of  Littleton,  towards  the  new 
district,  was  a  dilificulty  which  did  not  seem  to  adjust  itself  in 
later  years,  and  down  through  the  century,  even  to  the  present 
time,  the  disagreement  may  be  traced.  There  was  a  great  deal 
of  trouble  about  the  boundaries,  although  they  were  described 
and  estaljlished  by  the  letter  of  the  act  of  incorporation  already 
given.  All  the  polls  and  estates  within  the  given  limits  were 
to  belong  to  the  new  district  except  those  of  such  of  the  inhabi- 
tants set  off  from  Littleton  as  should  not  return  their  names  to 
the  office  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Commonwealth  within  a  year 
from  the  passing  of  the  act.  So  although  the  boundary  was 
designated  between  Littleton  and  Boxborough,  the  people  of  the 
Littleton  part  were  left  to  go  or  come  - —  as  they  chose  —  to  pay 
their  taxes  to  the  mother  town  as  before,  although  residents  of 
the  new  district.  The  towns  were  continually  in  trouble  over 
the  boundary  line.  It  was  at  last  referred  to  the  General 
Court,  and  an  act  fixing  the  boundary  was  passed  February  20, 
179-4:.  This  act  also  gave  permission  to  those  of  Littleton  who 
had  not  returned  their  names,  ^' their  polls  and  their  estates," 
who  still  voted  and  were  assessed  in  Littleton,  "to  belong  to 
said  Littleton  "  so  long  as  this  state  of  things  continued ;  that 
such  persons  might  at  any  time  apply  to  said  Boxborough  to 
become  members  thereof,  and,  upon  vote  of  her  inhabitants,  be 
accepted  as  citizens  of  Boxborough,  with  their  polls  and  estates. 

In  1791  the  district  voted  to  invite  all  within  the  bounds  of 
Boxborough  who  had  not  joined  with  the  said  town  to  become 
members  of  the  same.  And  they  came  from  time  to  time,  until 
there  were  only  two  farms  —  those  of  H.  T.  Taylor  and  David 
Hall — which  were  still  assessed  in  Littleton  in  1889.  Edmund 
Lawrence's  estate  was  accepted  April  6,  1807,  widow  Rachel 
Cobleigh's  property,  May  27,  1818,  and  George  Jeffon's  estate, 
April  2,  1821.     In  1827  the  town  voted  to  choose  a  committee 

22         Boxhorongh  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

to  convei-se  with  all  those  who  still  paid  their  taxes  in  Littleton, 
though  within  the  bounds  of  Boxborough,  to  see  if  they  would 
not  in  future  attach  themselves  to  their  own  town  ;  and  April 
24  of  that  year  five  (the  largest  number  at  any  one  time) 
signified  their  desire  to  become  inhabitants  of  Boxborough,  and 
were  transferred  to  said  town  ;  viz.,  John  Hoar,  John  Blanchard, 
Simon  Blanchard,  Mrs.  Abigail  Blanchard  and  Moses  Whit- 
comb.  Two  more,  Carshena  Wood  and  Mrs.  Lucy  Wood,  came 
May  23,  1831,  and  one  more,  Isaac  Patch,  April  2,  1838. 
Measures  were  taken  in  1890  to  see  if  the  taxes  of  the  remaining 
two  farms  might  not  be  required  to  revert  to  the  town  to  which 
the  estates  belonged.  The  petition  to  the  Legislature  failed, 
however,  and  Littleton  having  filed  a  counter-petition,  praying 
for  a  new  boundary  between  the  said  towns,  their  petition  was 
granted,  and  a  bill,  according  with  it,  passed.  The  new  line 
between  the  two  towns  leaves  the  greater  part  of  the  farms, 
with  their  buildings,  in  Littleton,  so  that  the  question  of  trans- 
fer is  no  longer  possible  and  the  difficulty  is  settled  once 
for  all. 

The  boundaries  on  the  Harvard  and  Stow  sides  are  probably 
somewhat  changed ;  that  toward  Acton  seems  to  be  the  same 
and  the  south-east  corner,  on  Flagg's  Hill,  appears  to  be 
unaltered.  The  boundary  on  the  Littleton  side,  as  we  have 
said,  although  the  source  of  much  dispute  and  threatened  prose- 
cution, was  finally  fixed  by  act  of  the  Legislature  in  1890.  No 
definite  descriptions  of  the  corner  bounds  and  boundary  lines 
are  recorded  whereby  we  can  mark  the  exact  changes;  the 
bounds  themselves  —  heaps  of  stones,  stakes,  trees  —  are  objects 
which  the  vicissitudes  of  a  hundred  years  might  well  render 
uncertain,  and  now  the}^  cannot  be  determined  with  any  degree 
of  accuracy. 

It  is  interesting  to  follow  the  working  of  the  newly 
organized  district  and  to  note  that  which  seemed  most  to 
occupy  their  hands  and  hearts.  So  far  as  we  can  judge  from 
the  records  left  us,  after  having  thrown  in  their  lot  together 
each  one  worked  for  the  common  good.  Destined  never  to 
become  a  large  town,  its  citizens  gave  to  it,  and  found  in  it, 

<  f- 

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i  i 

Gift  of  Toirn  Hall.  23 

whatever  of  active,  energetic  enterprise  it  possessed.  The 
warrants  for  the  early  town-meetings  are  full  of  articles  for 
action,  touching  the  church,  the  school  and  the  highway,  — 
■three  of  the  most  important  factors  in  the  common  town  or 
state  life,  for  without  religion  at  the  outset,  the  foundation 
must  have  been  unstable ;  without  education  the  future 
processes  of  self-government,  personal  and  general  development 
in  intelligen(!e  and  strength,  must  have  halted ;  and  without 
communication  with  the  outside  world,  common  interchange 
of  ideas  and  methods,  and  also  transportation,  would  have  been 
at  a  standstill.  The  citizens  of  the  district  seem  to  have,  been 
much  interested  in  these  things  at  the  very  first.  The  meeting- 
house was  the  place  not  only  for  holding  the  religious 
gatherings  of  the  people,  but  also  for  all  town-meetings  until 
1835,  and  in  April  of  that  year  they  assembled  at  Bigelow's 
Hall,  situated  directly  opposite.  Early  this  year  they  "voted 
to  build  Town  Hall  under  the  contemplated  New  meeting- 
house on  the  Common,  and  voted  to  raise  f  250  to  build  the 
same,''  and  then  a  reaction  came  and  they  "  voted  to  reconsider  " 
their  vote.  In  iNIarch  of  the  same  year  they  voted  to  build  a 
town-house  on  the  old  Common  and  voted  to  raise  I'lOO  for  the 
same,  and  again  the  reaction  came  and  they  reconsidered  the 
vote ;  but  later  in  the  season  a  town  hall  was  built  near  the 
southern  end  of  the  Common  and  opened  for  use  in  October, 
1835.  This  remained  until  1874.  Early  in  1870  they  voted 
to  "examine  Town  Hall,"  and  also  chose  a  committee  to  see  if 
the  Universalist  meeting-house  "  on  the  hill  "  could  be  procured 
for  a  town  hall.  This  was  found  by  the  committee  to  be 
impracticable  at  that  time,  and  the  town  voted  to  enlarge  and 
thoroughly  repair  the  old  hall.  But  in  November  of  that  year 
a  committee  was  again  chosen  to  confer  with  regard  to  obtain- 
ing the  old  church  for  town  use,  and  in  December,  1870,  the 
town  "  voted  to  accept  the  Report  of  Committee,"  and  "voted  to 
accept  the  meeting-house  as  a  gift  from  a  majority  of  the  pew 
owners."  They  immediately  went  to  work  to  make  the  needed 
alterations  and  repairs  and  to  furnish  in  a  neat  and  comfortable 
manner  for  the  transaction  of  town  business.     When  the  old 

24        Boxhor'ovgh  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

Puritan  Church  of  one  hundred  years  ago  was  divided  in  1829, 
the  Universalist  Society,  as  it  was  tliereafter  called,  retained 
possession  of  the  old  church.  This  society  after  a  time  discon- 
tinued their  meetings,  the  house  was  closed,  and  in  1870,  as 
before  stated,  was  presented  to  the  town  for  a  town-house.  The 
old  hall  was  sold  at  auction  in  1874  to  H.  E.  Felch,  and  was 
subsequently  torn  down. 

In  the  early  part  of  Boxborough's  history,  there  seem  to 
have  been  a  great  many  extra  meetings  for  town,  or  district 
purposes  rather, — the  words  town  and  district  being  used  inter- 
changeably all  through  the  records, — questions  with  regard  to 
the  church  and  church  property,  schools,  roads,  disposition  of 
poor,  boundaries,  town  buildings,  town  prosecutions  and  the 
like.  They  discussed  the  questions  and  voted  pro  and  con,  and 
considered  and  reconsidered  these  local  items  as  only  men  inter- 
ested in  the  true  welfare  of  tlie  town  would  have  done.  But 
they  seem  at  times  to  have  arisen  to  that  pitch  of  earnestness 
and  enthusiasm  where  their  "  No  "  was  no,  and  their  "  Yes," 
yes,  irrevocably. 

A  perusal  of  old  writings  brings  some  minor  items  to  light, 
like  the  following,  which  may  interest  the  rising  generation  if 
no  other: — In  1789,  Wm.  McKay,  convicted  of  swearing  one 
(or  more )  "  profain  oaths,"  paid  a  line  of  six  shillings,  and  such 
fines  were  not  infrequent.  They  were  careful  to  guard  the 
morals  of  the  young.  An  incident  is  told  of  an  old  resident 
which  illustrates  tliis.  He  had  been  trying  to  impress  upon  his 
son  the  importance  of  temperance  in  speech,  and  at  the  close  of 
the  lesson, — "  I  swear  if  you  swear,  I  '11  whip  you,"  said  the  old 
man  emphatically.  Unique  auctioneer's  licenses  are  recorded : 
— "  We  the  Subscribers,  Selectmen  of  the  Town  of  Boxborough, 
at  a  meeting  holden  for  the  purpose,  have  licensed  and  do  here- 
by Licence  Major  Eph™  Taylor  of  s^  Boxborough  to  sell  at 
public  Vendue  or  ( )utcry  any  Goods  or  Chatties  whatsoever, 
pursuant  to  a  law  of  the  Commonwealth,  passed  June  the  16, 
1795."  Boys  were  often  bound  out  to  service  by  vote  of  the 
town,  for  exanqjle,  in  1807  they  "voted  to  bind  David  Green 
to  Christopher   Page  to  learn  the   carpenter's  trade  upon  the 

Road-making.  25 

same  terms  respecting  clotliing  and  scliooling  as  though  he  staid 
with  his  old  master." 

In  1837  the  town  "  voted  to  allow  a  bounty  of  twenty  cents 
each  on  Crows  young  and  old  taken  in  the  limits  of  Boxbo rough 
between  April  and  November"  and  granted  one  hundred  dol- 
lars for  the  purpose.  It  was  voted  in  1838  "to  have  the  bell 
rung  at  nine  o'clock  in  the  evenings  each  day  in  the  year 
(Sundays  excepted)  five  minutes  at  a  time."'  Doubtless  in  our 
forefathers'  time  this  was  a  reminder  to  have  "  all  the  children 
in."  Nowadays  such  a  note  pealing  out  over  these  hills  and 
valleys  would  pemaps  be  more  likely  to  find  the  people  of  all 
ages  just  gathering  together. 

The  old  town  folk  evinced  a  good  deal  of  interest  in  the 
highways,  and  roads  were  laid  out  here  and  there  and  accepted 
from  time  to  time  ;  but  the  vague  descriptions,  vivid  as  they 
may  have  seemed  then,  leave  us  in  obscurity  as  to  their  exact 
trend.  The  next  year  after  the  incorporation  of  the  district, 
in  1784,  several  highways  were  laid  out;  in  1785  the  town 
voted  fifty  pounds  to  repair  highways,  and  the  following  year 
an  appropriation  was  also  made.  And  so  on  down  through 
her  history,  such  items  as  the  laying  out  of  roads,  acceptance  or 
rejection  of  them  as  the  case  might  demand,  appropriations, 
setting  up  guide  posts  or  building  walls,  are  frequent.  In  the 
early  days  each  poll  worked  out  his  highway  tax  ;  in  1791  it 
was  voted,  "that  Every  Ratiable  Pole  shall  work  on  the  County 
Road  one  Day  this  year."  Record  is  made  showing  that  some 
of  the  roads  were  mere  Inidle-paths  at  first ;  in  1790  the  town 
"voted  to  accept  the  Bridle  road,"  and  in  1819  "Gave  an  order 
to  Prince  J.  Chester,  it  being  in  full  for  a  road  or  Bridle  way 
through  his  land."  Some  were  private  or  lialf-private  ways,  as 
we  find  such  entries  as  these:  1814.  "Voted  to  shut  up  the 
road  through  D"  Jacob  Fairbanks'  land  for  one  year  if  D"  Jacob 
Fairbanks  will  cause  a  road  to  be  opened  that  will  commode  the 
town  as  well."  In  1815  "  Committee  report  they  are  dissatisfied 
with  a  road  fenced  out  as  it  cuts  them  off  from  water,  but  are 
willing  that  Mr.  Sargent  should  have  a  road  with  two  gates,  which 
the}'  will  agree  to  support  one."    In  1814  a  vote  was  passed  "to 

2C)         J3n.rl)or<ui;/h :  a  New  EnjJaiid  Totrn  and  its  Pejple. 

kce})  the  Turn-})ike  road  in  repair  as  far  as  it  lies  in  Boxborougli 
for  one  year,  provided  the  Corporation  will  admit  the  inhabi- 
tants of  said  Boxborougli  passing  the  gates  toll  free."  This 
same  "  Boston  Road  "  or  "the  old  turnpike  "  as  it  is  now  called, 
was  laid  out  through  the  southerly  part  of  the  town  from  Har- 
vard to  Acton,  and  is  the  main  thoi'oughfare.  We  find  what 
answers  to  the  same  road  on  Silas  Holman's  map  of  1704.  It 
was  accepted  in  1806  as  the  "  Union  Turnpike  "  by  the  Court 
of  General  Sessions  of  the  Peace,  at  its  September  term.  In 
1830  a  petition  was  sent  in  to  the  county  commissioners,  and 
April  7  of  that  year  the  Union  Turn[)ike,  so  far  as  it  lies  in 
the  county  of  Middlesex,  was  declared  a  public  highway,  the 
town  granting  #300  for  repairs.  The  road  over  the  hill,  east  of 
Guggin's  Brook,  was  discontinued  in  1868. 

The  Fitchburg  Railroad,  which  was  opened  in  184.5,  skirts 
along  the  level,  northeastern  border  of  the  town  for  quite  a  dis- 
tance. Whether  or  no  this  new  invention  was  hailed  by  the 
farmers  with  delight,  or  whether  they  considered  it  an  intrusion 
upon  their  sacred  solitudes,  and  a  trespass  on  their  farming 
rights,  history  tells  us  not.  At  any  rate,  no  mention  is  made 
of  a  desire  for  a  station  until  a  special  town-meeting  in  June, 
1840,  when  they  "voted  to  choose  a  committee  to  petition  the 
President  and  Directors  of  the  Fitchburg  Railroad  for  a  depot 
or  stopping-place  in  the  town  of  Boxborougli,  near  tlie  house  of 
Mr.  John  Hoar."  The  petition  was  not  granted.  During  the 
years  of  Avhich  we  have  been  speaking.  West  Acton  had  been 
growing  up  and  had  become  a  thriving  village.  Nov.  30,  1868, 
record  is  made  of  tlie  ado})tion  of  the  following  resolution  : 
"  Resolved  that  the  town  of  Boxborougli  unite  with  that  part 
of  Acton  called  West  Acton  in  the  formation  of  a  new  town." 
The  votes  upon  the  resolution  stood  49  to  11  in  favor  of  the 
new  town  and  a  committee  was  chosen  and  instructed  to  use 
ever}^  effort  in  the  annexation  of  Boxborough  and  West  Acton, 
but  the  scheme  planned  to  benefit  both  town  and  village  for 
some  reason  failed.  In  1873  another  petition  was  sent  to  the 
Fitchburg  Railroad  Company  for  a  station,  but  this  also  failed. 
The  station  for  Boxborough  is  one  with  that  of  West  Acton, 

Becominfj  a   Toion.  27 

"  West  Acton  and  Boxborough  "  being  the  name  given  to  it. 
West  Acton  is  also  the  post-office,  and  the  nearest  business  point 
for  Boxborough,  although  for  a  small  part  of  the  town  AVest 
Littleton  is  more  convenient. 

The  record  of  Presidential  votes  shows  that,  for  many  years, 
the  town  was  pretty  evenly  divided  as  to  its  political  sym[)a- 
thies,  with  a  sliglit  leaning  to  the  Democratic  side.  In  more 
recent  years  the  lines  dividing  politics  and  religion  have  grown 
less  marked,  until  they  have  somewhat  nearly  coincided.  The 
records  speak  of  Boxl)orough  as  both  town  and  district  through- 
out the  early  years,  and  we  have  done  the  same  in  order  better 
to  represent  them  ;  but  strictly  speaking  Boxborough  was  a 
district  until  May  1,  1836,  when  it  became  a  town,  not  l)}-  any 
special  act  of  the  Legislature,  but  under  a  clause  of  the  Revised 
Statutes  oi  that  year.  But  in  the  November  following  it  still 
voted  wdth  Stow  for  representative  to  the  General  Court,  so 
that,  if  this  date  be  the  correct  one  it  did  not  at  once  enter  into 
its  full  privilege  as  a  town.  In  the  more  recent  years  of  the 
Representative  union,  when  sending  two  representatives  it  wa> 
customary  to  send  one  from  Stow  and  one  from  Boxborougli. 
Record  of  the  votes  was  alwa3^s  made  at  Stow  only. 

28         Boxhonnigli :  a  Neiv  England  Ton^n  and  its  People. 





Boxborough's  military  history  must  necessarily  be  somewhat 
brief,  as,  not  having  been  incorporated  until  1783,  she  has  no 
Colonial  or  Revolutionary  record  of  lier  own.  But,  like  some 
other  towns  not  having  a  record  of  their  own  because  not  incor- 
poi-ated  at  the  time,  and  therefore  swelling  the  record  of  some 
neighl)oring  town  or  towns,  so  Boxborough  has  a  7'eal  though 
not  a  sepai-ate  record  of  the  Revolution  with  Acton  and  the 
neighboring  towns.  In  this  connection  we  would  pay  a  passing 
tribute  to  tlie  memory  of  Luther  Blanchard,  who,  together  Avith 
his  brother  Calvin,  joined  the  Acton  Company,  and  was  the  first 
man  to  shed  his  blood  at  the  fight  at  Concord  Bridge.  The  old 
homestead  and  family  estates  were  within  the  limits  of  Littleton 
(that  part  which  is  now  Boxborough),  and  the  descendants  still 
own  and  occupy  them.  Luther  is  said  to  have  been  ^'a  favorite 
young  man,  tall,  straight,  handsome  and  athletic."  At  the 
time  of  the  Concord  fight  he  was  learning  the  mason's  trade  of 
Abner  Hosmer,  who  resided  on  the  Herman  A.  (iould  place  in 
Acton.  I  quote  from  the  centennial  speech  of  a  grandson  of 
Calvin  Blanchard, —  the  late  Joseph  K.  Blanchard  of  this  town: 
"  The  neighboring  town  of  Acton  had  formed  a  company  of 
minute-men  to  be  ready  at  a  minute's  notice  to  meet  the  British 
soldiers ;  Calvin  and  Luther  Blanchard  of  Boxborough  were 
members  of  this  company.  These  brotliers  inherited  the  spirit 
of  patriotism  from  their  father,  who  was  killed  at  the  Heights 
of  Qvu'])cc.      This  company  of  men  liad  pledged  tliemselves  to 

Liithcr  Blanchard.  29 

stand  by  each  other  in  resisting  the  British  foe.  On  the  morn- 
ing of  the  Nineteeth  of  Aprih  1775.  word  came  to  Acton  that  the 
British  sohhers  were  en  route  for  Coiicoid.  'J'liis  company  of  min- 
nte-men  were  quickly  assembled  on  the  Acton  Common,  with 
Calvin  Blanchard  for  orderly-sergeant  and  Luther  Blanchard  as 
fifer.  As  there  was  a  little  delay  here,  and  the  soldiers  were 
anxious  to  meet  the  enemy,  l^uther  Blanchard  struck  up  '  Tlie 
White  Cockade."  and  then  Capt.  Davis  started  off,  saying  to 
his  men  that  if  any  of  them  were  afraid  to  follow  him  they 
might  go  home.  When  they  reached  the  old  noith  l)ridge 
at  Concord,  the  British  were  already  on  tlie  point  of  coming 
over  to  this  side  to  destroy  stores  of  the  Colonists  on  this  side 
the  river.  The  officer  in  command  asked  for  volunteers  to  meet 
the  foe.  Capt.  Davis,  knowing  liis  men,  said,  '  I  have  not  a 
man  who  is  afraid  to  go.'  As  they  advance  to  meet  tlie  British, 
they  receive  their  fire  and  Luther  Iilanchard  is  the  first  n)an 
wounded.  The  Captain  then  asked  if  they  iiied  l)a]ls.  '  Ves,* 
was  tlie  reply,  'for  Luther  Blanchard  is  wounded.'"  He  went 
into  the  house  of  Mrs.  Barrett,  close  In,  In  ha\e  the  wound 
dressed.  "  A  little  more  and  you  'd  have  been  killed,"  said 
Ah's.  Barrett,  mournfully.  •'  Yes,  and  a  little  more  and  it  would 
not  have  touched  me,"  replied  Blanchard,  brightly,  and  hastened 
to  join  his  comrades.  The  wound  appeared  slight,  but  he  died 
three  days  later  in  consequence  of  it.  His  body  was  biought  to 
J>,ittleton  and  laid  in  the  old  cemetery  there.  IVxhiy  the  spot  is 
unmarked  and  unknown. 

In  1787,  the  town  voted  to  "Provide  Stock  of  Powder  and 
Leds,  also  flint,"  which  were  kept  in  a  magazine,  provided  for 
the  purpose,  under  the  stairs  in  the  meeting-house ;  and  record 
is  also  made  of  muster-days  and  the  ordinary  military  oi-ganiza- 
tions,  but  nothing  more  of  importance  until  August  18,  1794, 
when  they  called  a  special  town-meeting,  '•  to  see  what  the  town 
will  do  about  raising  the  eight  men,  in  compliance  with  the 
request  of  Congress,  and  give  any  instructions  to  Capt.  Whit- 
comb  about  the  same."  They  voted  ''  to  give  some  incoragment  to 
the  men  that  shall  list  as  soldiers,  and  voted  that  each  man  that 
lists  as  a  soldier  aoreeable  to  Resolves  of  Cono-i-ess  Sjiall  have 

80         Boxhoroui/Ji :   a  New  Ewihind  Town  ainJ  its  People. 

the  publick  pay  as  wages  made  u})  hy  the  Town  ;  to  each  man 
the  sum  of  Two  pounds,  Eight  shillings  pr.  nionth  for  the  time 
they  serve  in  the  array ;  and  that  they  shall  have  six  shillings 
in  part  of  their  pay  paid  them  when  they  do  List  and  ingage  if 
they  do  not  march  out  of  Town,  and  the  sum  of  eighteen  shil- 
lings more  when  they  march  in  order  to  join  the  army." 
Three  years  later,  in  October,  1T1>7,  at  another  special  meeting 
they  '•'•  Voted  to  give  the  Soldiers  one  Dollar  each  to  engage,  to 
give  the  men  ten  dollars  each  at  marcliing,  and  to  make  their 
wages  equal  to  laboring  men  the  time  they  are  in  the  service, 
including  the  ten  dollars  above  mentioned  and  Government 
pay."  In  1800  they  voted  ^^  that  Each  soldier  that  goes  to  the 
review  at  (Concord  and  does  his  duty  shall  have  one  dollar  for 
tlie  two  days  service  and  1-2  lb.  of  })owder  for  each  soldier." 
The  town  was  again  called  on  for  men  in  1(812  and  1814,  and 
bounties  were  offered;  viz.:  In  1(S12.  '' \'()ted  to  make  up  the 
Soldiers  -tlO  per  month  when  they  are  called  into  actual  service, 
:ind  two  dollars  a  day  when  called  out  of  Town,  and  to  receive 
it  before  they  march  into  actual  Service  or  when  desmissed." 
In  1814,  '•  \'()t('d  to  make  uj)  tlic  soldiers  J|18  per  month  with 
the  national  [)ay  and  five  dollars  bounty  if  they  volunteer  their 
services."  The  town  abated  the  taxes  of  her  s(_)ldiers  while  in 
the  service.  In  1882,  it  is  recorded  that  the  town  ^' voted  to 
authorize  the  Treasurer  to  })ay  the  amount  of  their  Poll  I'axes 
to  each  of  the  training  Soldiers  who  ke})t  themselves  uniformed 
and  e(]uii)ped  and  performed  all  Military  duty  recpured  of 
tliem."  With  the  cxcc[)tion  of  nnistcr-days  and  militia-rolls, 
notliing  further  is  recorded  until  the  late  War  of  tlie  Rebellion. 
Tlicrc  were  no  town-meetings  held  until  July  28,  1862, 
when  they  ''voted  to  pay  bounty  to  live  persons  that  will 
volunteer  to  go  to  war,  voted  'tlOO  to  eacli  of  the  five,  and 
immediately  voted  -fS  each  to  those  who  will  enlist  within 
three  days  *and  be  accepted."  August  28,  "  \'oted  town  pay 
bounty  of  'tlOO  to  those  who  will  volunteer  to  lill  town's  quota 
of  nine  months  men.  to  six  or  seven,  whichever  it  may  be." 
In  October  of  the  same  year  the  town  voted  -^150  to  each 
(h'afted  man,  and  also   to  each   volunteei'.    '^euough   to   lill  our 

NanwH  of  Soldiers.  31 

call,"  to  be  piiid  after  they  were  mustered  into  service.  .\  mouth 
later  the  same  bouuty  was  exteuded  to  the  substitutes  of 
drafted  men. 

The  highest  l)()uuly  offered  was  Septeml)er  10,  1S()4.  when 
the  town  "Voted  to  })ay  ¥125  iu  Gold  to  each  recruit  t(»  till 
the  town's  quota."  The  advance  of  gold  was  from  So  to  1()5 
during  that  month,  so  that,  even  at  an  average,  the  bounty  was 
a  large  one.  The  young  men  of  Boxborough  responded 
willingly  to  their  country's  call,  and  ••  five  persons  came  for- 
ward and  enlisted"  at  one  time.  Of  the  fifty-one  men  —  seven 
more  than  reipiired  —  furnished  by  the  town,  none  were  com- 
missioned officers.  AVe  quote  the  following  from  Schouler's 
'"Massachusetts  in  the  Civil  War":  '' The  whole  amount  of 
the  money  appropriated  and  expended  l)y  the  town  for  war 
l)urposes,  exclusive  of  State  aid,  was  'ii<T04H.87.  The  ainoniit 
of  money  raised  and  expended  by  the  town  during  the  war  for 
State  aid  to  soldiers'  families,  and  which  Ava;s  repaid  by  the 
Commonwealth,  was  •^1847.;");).  About  ■1f20()  was  raised  by  the 
ladies  of  the  town  for  the  Christian  Connnission." 

We  give  below  names  of  the  soldiers  who  went  from  l^ox- 
borough  to  take  part  in  the  War  of  the  Rel)ellion,  so  fai  as  we 
are  able  to  give  them  : 

Messrs.  Samuel  Burroughs,  E.  I^.  Battles,  James  Bryant, 
E.  D.  Battles,  ]\lonroe  Clement,  (ieorge  Draper,  Wm.  Edwai-ds, 
Ivuther  H.  Ewings,  Lucius  Holden,  Charles  Jenkings,  A.  A. 
Richardson,  S.  E.  Smiley,  Paul  Hayward,  George  Sargent, 
Waldo  Littleheld,  .John  Fletcher,  Peter  W.  H.  Perry,  F.  II. 
Stevens,  'J'im.  L.  Wood,  Abraham  Kodgers,  A.  W.  Wetherbee, 
James  H.  Whitcomb,  John  Griffin,  Joseph  Moren,  Wm.  F. 
Stevens,  A.  G.  Whitcomb,  Alonzo  M.  Woodward. 

Of  these.  George  Sargent  and  Luther  H.  Ewings  weie 
wounded;  Alonzo  ^l.  Woodward  died  Oct.  6,  1862,  at  Suffolk, 
Va.,  of  fever;  John  Fletcher  was  killed  at  the  battle  of 
Winchester,  Va.,  Sept.  19,  1864;  and  James  H.  Whitcomb 
died  at  Cotton  Wood  Springs,  Neb.,  of  typhoid  fever,  Aug. 
31,  1865. 

82         Boxhorough :  a  New  En<ilmid  Town  and  its  People. 

We  come  now  to  the  history  of  our  public  schools.  Box- 
borough  has  never  enjoyed  the  advantage  of  either  an  academy 
or  high  school  within  her  own  boundaries,  although  her  sons 
and  daughters  have  reaped  the  benefits  of  the  higher  institu- 
tions of  learning  of  other  towns  or  cities  near  or  far.  The 
town  fathers  evidently  had  the  cause  of  education  at  heart,  for 
in  the  town  warrant,  Sept.  22,  1783 — the  same  year  of  her 
incorporation  —  we  find  this  article  :  *'  To  see  what  the  town 
^\  ill  do  about  Providing  School  this  Present  Year  and  act  any- 
thing they  Shall  Think  Proper  when  met;  "  and  when  legally 
met  they  ''  voted  to  have  four  months'  schooling  this  year  and 
voted  that  the  Selectmen  provide  and  proportion  the  same."' 
The  •'  })roportion  ""  seems  to  refer  not  to  different  sections  of  the 
town,  but  to  the  boys  and  girls  who  appear  to  have  been  edu- 
cated separately  for  some  time,  as  in  1787  money  Avas  appro- 
priated for  '■'•  four  months  of  man's  scliool,  and  four  months  of 
Woman's  Scliool." 

At  the  80th  of  August  meeting,  1784.  it  was  decided  not 
oidy  to  have  '*  four  months  of  Woman's  School,"  but  also  "  to 
have  a  school-master  six  months,"  the  town  thus  charging 
themselves  with  deciding  as  to  whether  a  gentleman  or  lady 
should  be  the  instructor  of  their  yonth.  But  in  1794  they 
transferred  the  grave  responsibility  to  the  shoulders  of  a  com- 
mittee, who  should  "j>rovide  A:  hire  a  school-master  or  mas- 
ters and  mistress  or  mistresses  as  shall  be  most  convenient  for 
the  town's  good."  Also,  this  year,  the  boys  and  girls  shared 
equally  in  the  ten  months'  schooling,  as  a})pears  from  the  vote 
for  "five  months  of  man's  school  and  five  months  of  women's 
school."  From  1788  to  17i>4  the  selectmen  seem  to  have  liad 
charge  of  the  schools.  In  that  year  a  special  committee  was 
appointed,  but  it  was  not  until  a  number  of  years  later,  in  1820, 
that  the  School  Committee's  ofitice  became  an  established  fact. 
In  the  mean  time  the  schools  were  often  in  charge  of  the  select- 
men, as  at  the  first. 

Work  in  the  school  in  the  days  of  "  auld  lang  s^ne,"  in 
Boxborough,  was  evidently  not  as  popular  as  in  many  schools 
todav,   for,    in   1794,  action  was  taken  to   the   effect  that  "  no 

Pay  of  Tcacherx  and  Divm<m  <>f  Tok'h.  83 

\\()rk  should  be  done  in  or  at  the  woman's  school,  as  there 
usually  hath  bin ;  but  the  time  to  be  spent  in  instructing  the 
children  to  Read  and  Avright."  Xo  special  record  is  made  of 
teachers'  wages  in  those  early  days.  In  1783  there  was  "voted 
and  granted  the  Sum  of  24  lbs.  to  pay  town  debts  and  school- 
ing; "  and  in  1787  the  sum  of  fifteen  pounds  was  granted  for 
"  schooling  "  alone.  A  few  entries  such  as  these  would  seem 
to  indicate  such  Avages  as  would  be  no  great  tem[)tation  to  the 
teacher  of  the  present  day. 

Xo  doubt  the  pay  of  the  Boxborougli  tcat-hers  i-om[)ared 
favorably  with  that  of  surrounding  towns,  and  in  some  of  these, 
one  hundred  years  ago,  the  school-master  received  ¥2  per  week, 
A\here  now  he  requires  •'i'lO  or  •'!!20  for  the  same  service.  We 
do  not  know  if  there  was  even  a  school-house  in  the  new  dis- 
trict at  the  time  of  its  incorporation,  in  1788,  although  rumor 
says  there  was  such  a  Ijuilding  many  years  ago  situated  upon 
"•  Liberty  Square,"  the  common  in  front  of  Mr.  Henry  T.  Tay- 
lor's present  residence.  This  same  Liberty  Square  is  said  to 
have  been  noted  as  a  gathering  place  for  amusement  on  the 
Fourth  of  July  and  election  days.  Some  seventy  years  ago  the 
people  celebrated  the  national  independence  l)y  raising  a  liberty 
pole  100  feet  high  and  providing  a  dinner  free  for  all.  The 
voice  of  the  cannon  spoke  of  freedom  and  independence  to  all 
around,  and  various  amusements  rendered  the  day  pleasurable. 
But  to  return,  it  is  suggested  that  the  children  may  have  all 
come  together  to  one  school  until  1786,  when  it  was  voted  "to 
choose  a  c-ommittee  to  divide  the  town  into  quarters,  that  each 
may  build  them  a  school-house  if  they  please  "  But  the 
committee  for  some  leason  failed  in  the  performance  of  this 
duty,  for  in  the  latter  part  of  1790  a  new  committee  was 
invested  with  power  for  the  work  and  instructed  to  "  accom- 
plish the  business,"  which  was  done  and  the  report  made  in 
March.  1791.  The  division  of  the  town  into  quarters,  as  then 
made,  with  slight  variations,  has  always  remained.  The  number 
of  districts  has  continued  "the  same,  although  efforts  were  made 
in  181<),  and  again  in  1842,  to  reduce  it  to  three.  Convenience 
of  families  and  equalization  of  district  taxes  have  caused  some 

34         Boxhorough  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

slight  changes  in  the  boundaries.  Unsuccessful  efforts  have 
also  been  made,  from  time  to  time,  as  they  have  grown  smaller, 
to  reduce  the  number  of  schools  to  one  or  two. 

No  great  difference  is  observable  in  the  location  of  school- 
buildings.  The  greatest  change  seems  to  be  in  the  Northeast 
or  No.  3  District,  whose  building  is  now  more  centrally  situated 
at  the  intersection  of  several  roads.  The  Southeast  or  No.  4 
house  has  also  undergone  a  slight  change  of  location.  A  vote 
was  passed  in  1790  to  build  a  school-house  or  houses,  and  again 
in  1791  to  build  three  houses,  and  the  sum  of  forty-five  pounds 
was  granted  for  the  purpose.  It  is  probable  that  the  South- 
west District,  No.  1,  had  already  reared  their .  educational 
structure,  as  only  three  houses  are  spoken  of  at  this  juncture, 
for  which  the  sum  of  forty-five  pounds  was  to  be  equally 
divided,  and  as  special  provision  was  made  that  the  First  District 
should  receive  their  part  of  the  money.  Reference  is  continually 
made  to  items  of  business  in  connection  with  the  building  of 
these  school-houses  until  toward  the  close  of  the  century,  and  it 
is  probable  that  they  were  not  all  fully  completed  before 
that  time. 

In  1807  an  appropriation  was  made  by  the  town  to  build  a 
school-house  in  the  Northwest  quarter,  No.  2,  in  room  of  one 
burnt,  and  the  next  year  the  district  itself  voted  a  sum  of 
money  for  the  same  purpose.  There  is  no  further  record  until 
1843,  when  a  house  was  built  in  No.  3  District.  Separate 
schools  for  boys  and  girls  ai-e  last  mentioned  in  1797.  Beyond 
a  few  items,  such  as  the  condition  of  the  schools,  money  appro- 
priated each  year,  committees  chosen,  questions  concerning 
redistricting  the  town,  or  settlement  of  l)ounds  requiring  the 
occasional  transfer  of  an  estate,  there  is  nothing  more  of  interest 
until  1840.  In  1813,  '14,  '16,  '25,  '29,  '42,  'Q6,  and  '77 
various  appropriations  are  made  for  singing-schools. 

A  hundred  years  ago  $60  was  the  amount  paid  for  building 
a  school-house ;  now,  twenty-five  times  that  sum  would,  per- 
haps, be  deemed  no  more  than  sufficient.  The  methods  of 
teaching  have  greatly  changed,  also,  since  those  early  days.  The 
essential  elements  have  always  been  the  "  three  R"s  —  Reading, 

Methods  of  Teaching  and  RejyorU.  35 

'Riting  and  'Rithmetic,"  —  but  the  methods  of  instruction  in 
these  branches  have  widely  changed.  We  quote  from  the 
Centennial  speech  of  Mr.  George  F.  Conant,  a  former  superin- 
tendent of  our  pul)lic  schools,  upon  this  subject :  "  Reading- 
then  meant  a  drawling  drill  in  the  alphabet  and  its  combina- 
tions, a-b,  ab  ;  e-b,  eb ;  o-b,  ob,  etc ;  our  childi-en  are  now  in- 
ducted at  once  into  the  reading  of  words,  and  led  on,  by  easy 
gradations,  through  selections  from  the  best  masters  of  English 
prose  and  verse.  .Writing  then  involved  a  long  preliminary 
struggle  Avith  pot-hooks  and  trammels  ;  now  the  child  is  taught 
to  read  and  write  script  from  the  outset.  Arithmetic  was  then 
a  sealed  science  beyond  the  Rule  of  Three  —  even  the  master 
was  not  required  to  have  explored  farther ;  now  a  child  of  ten 
or  twelve  years  is  expected  to  have  reached  that  ultimatum. 
Mental  arithmetic  was  a  thing  unknown.  Grammar  was  then 
a  tedious  task,  encumbered  with  the  six  Latin  cases,  and  num- 
l)erless  unintelligible  rules.  Our  boys  and  girls,  with  their 
'  Language  Lessons,'  half  work,  half  play,  little  know  what 
their  fore-fathers  endured.  Perhaps  none  of  our  text-books 
have  changed  more  than  the  geographies.  This  is  strikingly 
apparent  in  a  comparison  of  maps  of  the  different  dates.  Central 
Asia  was  terra  incognita.  Africa  consisted  of  a  narrow  strip 
along  the  sliores,  surrounding  the  great  unknown ;  as  for 
Australia  and  the  isles  of  the  sea,  they  were  not ;  our  own 
country  west  of  the  Ohio  was  an  impenetrable  forest  and  howl- 
ing wilderness."  Modes  of  discipline  have  also  changed,  and 
the  famous  '•  l)irchen  rod  "  is  a  thing  of  the  past. 

The  first  report  of  schools  is  recorded  in  1840.  Number  of 
scholars,  92  in  summer,  143  in  winter.  Length  of  schools :  in 
summer,  11  months;  in  winter,  10  3-4  months.  "Number  of 
teachers  :  in  summer,  4  females  ;  in  winter,  4  males."  Average 
wages  per  month,  including  board  :  females,  $9.50  ;  males,  •|«24. 
The  school  year  was  divided  into  two  terms  at  this  time,  but 
later,  as  the  terms  were  lengthened,  it  became  the  custom  to 
have  three,  which  is  the  present  arrangement.  The  schools 
liave  now  grown  considerably  smaller.  The  district  system, 
wliieh  had  [prevailed  so  long,  was  abolislied  February  28,  1867, 

36         Boxhorovgh  :   a  Neiv  England  Town  and  its  People. 

by  vote  of  the  town.  The  Superintending  School  Committee  first 
received  pa^^  for  their  services  in  1842.  Their  recorded  reports 
at  this  time  are  full  of  interest.  We  give  a  sentence  from  the 
report  of  1842,  earnest  and  to  the  point:  ''Young  men  can 
parse  or  analyze  sentences  with  a  great  deal  of  skill  wlien  they 
leave  school,  but  it  is  very  rare  that  you  can  find  one  that  has 
confidence  enough  in  his  own  abilities  to  compose  a  piece  of 
reasoning  and  recite  it  before  an  audience."  One  report,  in 
1 846,  so  brief  we  beg  leave  to  give  it  entire,  is  as  follows : 
''  Your  committee  would  report  that  in  their  opinion  the  schools, 
with  one  or  two  exceptions,  have  been  wisely  and  judiciously 
managed  the  past  year."  The  annual  report  was  first  printed 
in  1853.  In  1843  two  school  libraries  were  established,  and 
the  following  year  a  sum  of  money  was  appropriated  to  carry 
on  the  good  work.  In  1842  the  work  of  erecting  school- 
buildings  was  again  entered  upon  by  the  Northeast  District, 
which  event  called  forth  the  following  from  the  School  Com- 
mittee :  "  Your  committee  hail  with  joy  the  erection  of  a  new 
school-house  in  town,  after  the  lapse  of  about  half  a  century,  a 
period  when  a  scliool-house  might  have  some  good  claims  to 
exemption  from  further  service."  Some  time  later  the  other 
districts  followed  suit,  and  from  that  time  forward  the  houses 
have  been  rebuilt  —  Nos.  1  and  2  sometime  from  1852  to  1857, 
No.  4  in  1868,  and  No.  3  in  1870  —  or  repaired  as  was  thought 
necessary,  until  at  the  present  time  there  is  a  comfortable 
school-building  in  each  of  the  four  quarters  of  the  town.  Only 
five  of  Boxborough's  ,young  men  have  received  a  college  educa- 
tion. Two  sons  of  Rev.  Joseph  Willard,  the  first  pastor, 
graduated  at  Harvard  in  1793  and  1809,  Mr.  J.  (^uiney 
Hayward  at  Amherst,  in  1882,  and  Mr.  Charles  H.  Conant, 
Dartmouth,  1871,  bar  in  1873.  Mr.  Conant  has  been  a  lawyer 
in  Lowell  for  quite  a  number  of  years.  Mr.  D.  Boutwell  Yeasie 
completed  a  college  course  at  Worcester,  Oliio,  and  afterwards 
studied  law. 

Tlie    Glmrcli  and  its    Organization. 




As  stated  in  our  opening  })aragraph,  the  old  Harvard  meeting- 
house was  purchased  in  1775.  The  old  volume,  which 
contains  all  the  account  that  is  left  to  us  of  these  early  days, 
hears  on  the  fly-leaf  this  inscription:  "Kecord  Book.  The 
Gift  of  Bennet  Wood  to  the  Society  Building  a  Meeting- 
House  in  North-westerly  part  of  Stow.  Littleton,  August  31, 
1776.**  Religion  was  the  primary  cause  of  the  union  of  the 
})eople  on  the  outskirts  of  these  three  towns.  They  banded 
themselves  together  for  convenience  in  public  worship,  and 
thus  the  '•  Xew  Society  "  was  formed,  which  afterwards  became 
first  the  district  and  then  the  town.  The  religious  pliase  of 
her  history  is  the  essential  element  of  all  her  history  ;  for 
religion  was  the  fundamental  principle  —  the  foundation  —  on 
which  the  town  was  built.  For  almost  half  a  century  the 
town  and  the  j)arish  were  identical,  and  her  history  in  this 
connection  is  not  only  valuable  to  us  who  now  study  it,  but  it 
is  full  of  interest  also.  Our  Puritan  ancestors  recognized  then, 
as  we  do  now,  in  what  the  true  public  good  consisted,  and 
tliey  sought  to  place  on  their  hill,  as  their  initial  act,  that  in 
w  hich  all  their  thoughts  and  deeds  should  centre,  —  the  church 
of  the  living  God.  The  town  meeting  and  the  parish 
meeting  were  one  for  a  long  time,  and  for  a  still  longer  period, 
more  than  half  a  century  even,  after  the  separation  of  town 
and   parish    l)usiness.    th(^    town-meetings    were    held    in    the 

38         Boxhor<)i((ih  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

meeting-house.        Questions  concerning  the  church  and  church 
affairs  were  made  the  annual  business  of  the  town. 

In  tlie  warrant  for  the  second  meeting,  held  in  April,  1783, 
was  this  article :  "  To  see  if  the  Town  will  grant  money  to  hire 
Preaching,  or  act  anything  Relating  the  same  they  shall  think 
Proper  or  choose  a  committee  to  do  so  ;"  and  they  voted  to 
hire  preaching,  agreed  upon  the  sum  of  forty  pounds  for  that 
purpose,  and  chose  a  committee  of  three  to  hire  it ;  viz.,  Bennet 
Wood,  Oliver  Taylor  and  Moses  Whitcomb.  September  22, 
1783,  we  read  this  unique  article  in  town  warrant:  "To  see  if 
the  Town  will  Take  any  measures  for  to  Kegulate  Singing  on 
the  Lord's  Day  or  apoint  Quiristers  for  the  same."'  And  they 
"  voted  to  choose  four  Quiristers  as  followeth."  Even  seven 
years  before,  in  1776,  the  good  people  were  not  unmindful  of 
this  phase  of  public  worship,  for  they  "voted  and  cliose  Abel 
Fletcher,  Abel  Whitcomb  and  Jonathan  Patch  to  tune  the 
Psalms."  In  1796  the  town  "  voted  that  Dr.  Belknap's  Books 
should  be  used  in  the  Congregation  of  Boxborough  in  the 
Room  of  Dr.  Watt's  Books."  It  seems  the  town  voted  also 
where  a  person  should  sit  in  church,  for,  the  same  year,  it 
"  voted  and  seated  Ens.  Samuel  Wetherbee  in  the  fore-seat 
l)elow,  and  Samuel  Draper  in  the  fore-seat  of  the  side  gallery ;" 
in  1792,  "  Voted  that  the  Dr.  sit  in  the  fore-seat  of  the  front ;" 
apparently  as  a  mark  of  respect  to  those  gentlemen.  Deacons' 
seats  were  also  provided.  In  1798  the  same  authority  "Voted 
that  the  Methodist  preacher  may  preach  in  the  meeting- 
house in  said  Boxborough  on  the  week-days,  during  the 
town's  pleasure,  but  not  to  molest  or  interrupt  the  Rev.  Mr. 
.Iose})h  Willard  when  he  shall  appoiiit  any  lecture  or  time 
to  preach  in  said  meeting-house  at  his  pleasure."  The  town- 
meeting  voted  the  taxes  for  the  payment  of  the  minister,  for,  a 
month  later,  that  body  "  voted  not  to  have  the  persons  that 
have  dogs  taxed  for  their  dogs  polls,  and  voted  to  tax  all 
persons  to  the  minister's  Rate  agreeable  to  the  Constitution," 
Sometimes  a  person  wished  to  attend  church  out  of  town,  and 
then  he  was  released  from  his  minister's  rate  in  town  upon 
bringing  certiticate    from  the  clerk  of    the  neighboring  town, 

The    Church  and  Its    Orgnnizaticni.  89 

stating  that  he  worshipped  with  some  other  church,  and  paid 
his  dues  there.  The  town  corporate  evidenced  in  all  her 
proceedings  her  desire  to  do  everything  according  to  righteous- 
ness and  justice,  and  she  was  no  less  careful  to  bring  her 
citizens  up  to  the  same  standard. 

It  appears  that  the  church  was  in  an  unfinished  state  at  the 
time  of  the  incorporation  of  the  district,  for,  Oct.  27,  1788,  it 
was  voted  "  to  sell  the  Pue  ground  in  the  meeting-house  below, 
and  take  the  money  to  finish  the  house."'  It  took  several 
town-meetings  to  settle  the  business,  but  it  was  finally  decided 
that  '*  the  persons  that  purchase  tlie  Pue  ground  build  the 
pews  on  their  own  cost,  and  take  them  for  their  Seates  for  them- 
selves and  families  in  the  ]Meeting-house  until  the}^  Sell  or 
Dispose  of  the  same."  The  ground-plan  was  for  twenty-two 
})ews,  and  when  they  were  sold  it  was  '•'  voted  that  the  first 
twenty-two  highest  payers  have  the  first  offer  of  the  Pews  as  is 
Dignified  and  Prized  according  to  their  pay,  and  voted  that 
tlie  highest  pew  be  offered  nnto  the  Highest  Payer,  giving  liim 
or  them  the  choice  of  that  or  any  other  Pew  they  or  he  Likes 
Better  at  the  Same  Price,  and  if  the  first  twenty-two  highest 
Pefuse  to  take  the  Pews,  then  they  are  to  be  offered  to  the 
next  twenty-two  highest  pa3'ers,  and  so  on  in  proportion  till 
all  have  had  the  offer  if  Need  be.''  Again,  in  1786  and 
1795,  votes  were  passed  "  to  seat  meeting-house  according  to 
age  and  pay."'  These  items  would  seem  to  show  that 
deference  to  property  is  not  confined  to  our  own  time,  but  was 
also  a  characteristic  of  bygone  days. 

The  church  was  organized  the  29th  of  April,  1781,  and  it 
was  voted  to  have  the  house  finished  the  following  November. 
The  18th  of  that  month  the  town  "  voted  to  concur  with  the 
church  of  Boxborongh  in  giving  Mr.  Joseph  Willard  a  call  to 
settle  with  them  as  a  Gospel  Minister  in  s*^  town."  They  also 
discussed  the  subject  of  salary  as  to  "'  what  they  should  give 
the  Rev.  Mr.  Willard  for  encouragement ; "  voted  "■  to  think 
about  it "  and,  finally,  after  various  meetings  to  settle  the  busi- 
ness, Dec.  27,  they  voted  '•'  not  to  give  Rev.  Mr.  AVillard  half- 
])ay  so  long  as  he  induretli  Ids  natural  life,  but  to  pay  the  Rev. 

40         Bo.rboron(/h  :   a  JVew  JiJiit/hind  Toint  and  if.^  People. 

Mr.  Joseph  Willard  £15  of  money  annually,  in  silver  money, 
at  six  shilling's,  eight  pence  per  ounce,  and  tind  twenty  cords 
of  wood  for  his  hre  annually,  so  long  as  the  Kev.  Mr.  Willard 
shall  supply  the  Pulpit  in  said  town  of  Boxborough  and  no 
longer."  The  furnishing  of  the  wood  was  let  out  to  the  lowest 
bidder  annually.  Another  quaintly-worded  article  in  warrant 
this  year  read  as  follows :  "•  To  see  if  the  Town  will  Sell  the 
two  hind  Seats  Below  on  the  men's  and  women's  Side  and  Let 
them  be  cut  up  for  Pews,  and  get  the  outside  of  the  meeting- 
house Painted  with  tlie  money.'" 

They  voted  to  install  Mr.  Willard,  Nov.  2,  1785.  Mr. 
Willard  was  born  in  Grafton,  Mass.,  and  graduated  at  Harvard 
College  in  1765.  He  was  called  to  Bedford,*  April  19,  1769, 
where  he  served  as  pastor  for  nearly  fourteen  years.  December 
4,  1782,  his  connection  with  the  society  was  dissolved  at  his 
own  request,  l)y  the  unanimous  advice  of  a  council,  on  account 
of  the  broken  state  of  the  society.  He  then  received  his  call 
and  was  installed  over  the  District  of  Boxborough.  The  follow- 
ing eight  churches  were  invited  to  join  in  the  installation 
services :  Grafton,  Harvard,  first  and  second  churches  Reading, 
Stow,  Northboro',  T^ittleton,  and  Acton.  Rev.  Jonathan  Newell, 
of  Stow,  offered  the  opening  prayer ;  Rev.  Caleb  Prentice,  of 
the  first  church  in  Reading,  preaclied  the  sermon  from  2  Cor., 
1st  chapter  and  24th  verse,  —  "Not  for  that  we  have  dominion 
over  your  faith,  but  are  helpers  of  your  joy."  We  quote  from 
this  sermon  —  which  was  printed  at  Worcester,  in  1786,  and  a 
copy  of  which  is  in  possession  of  Miss  IVI.  B.  Priest  of  this 
town  —  the  following  extracts  :  — 

''  The  great  business  of  Gospel  Ministers,  is,  to  be  helpers  of 
the  joy  of  their  fellow-men,  to   promote   their  well-being  and 

felicity,  both   in  the  present  and  future  world Every 

man  has  a  natural,  unalienable  right,  to  think,  judge,  and 
believe  for  himself,  in  matters  of  religion.  And  every  Christian 
is  bound  to  maintain  this  right  for  himself,  and  to  support 
others  in  the  enjoyment  of  it.  If  one  Christian  usurps  dominion 
over   another's  faith,  he  assumes  a  power  tliat  does  not  belong 

*For  "Bedford''  read  "  Mendon." 

Installation  Sermon   and  3Ir.    WilhtnL  41 

to  him,  and  may  with  propriety  be  addressed  after  this  manner 
—  Who  made  thee  to  be  a  rider  and  judge  over,  others  in  this 
matter?  Who  art  thou  that  judgest  another  man  s  servant  f  To 
his  own  master  lie  standeth    or  falleth,    to  whom    alone    he   is 

accountable Ministers    must  preach  the    Word,  more 

especially  the  Gospel  of  Jesus  Christ,  which  reveals  the  mind 
and  will  of  the  Lord,  and  points  out  to  men  the  path  of  duty 
and  wa}'  to  happiness.  ....  AVe  must  instruct  our  hearers 
in  that  useful  branch  of  science,  the  true  knowledge  of  them- 
selves —  the  end  of  their  existence  —  their  mortal  and  immoital 

nature  —  and  their  relation  to  a  future,  eternal  world 

The  terrours  of  the  law  must  be  thundered  forth,  to   engage 

sinners  to  repentance  and  to  bring  them  to  Christ An 

essential  part  of  JNIinisterial  duty  consists,  in  preaching  Christ 
as  a  Saviour  to  men.  We  must  pi-oclaim  to  men  the  glad 
tidings  of  salvation  Ijy  the  Son  of  God,  the  Mediator  of  the 
new  covenant,  and  make  known  the  mercy  and  grace  of 
God  to  sinners,  through  Jesus  Christ,  teaching  them  the 
way  to  obtain  forgiveness  of  sin  and  eternal  life,  through  the 
Son  of  God." 

Rev.  Eben  Grosvenor  offered  prayer ;  Rev.  Eliab  Stone,  of 
tlie  second  church  in  Reading,  gave  the  charge  to  the  pastor ; 
Rev.  Peter  Whitney,  of  Northborough,  gave  the  charge  to  the 
people,  and  Rev.  Moses  Adams,  of  Acton,  offered  the  closing 
prayer.  The  whole  number  of  persons  belonging  to  the  church 
at  its  organization,  and  admitted  afterward  during  Mr.  Willard's 
pastorate,  was  144;  number  of  persons  baptized,  265;  number 
of  marriages,  109;  number  of  deaths,  188.  After  a  pastorate 
of  nearly  forty  years,  by  request  of  the  peoj^le,  in  December, 
1823,  Mr.  Willard  resigned  his  position  as  pastor  of  the  church, 
when  just  at  the  close  of  his  eighty-second  year.  He  resided 
at  the  parsonage,  the  house  now  owned  and  occupied  by  Air. 
Jerome  Priest,  until  his  death,  in  September,  1828. 

We  know  Ijut  little  of  him  who  closed  his  earthly  career 
here  more  than  sixty  years  ago.  We  are  informed  that  he  fitted 
a  great  many  j'oung  men  for  college,  that  he  was  himself  a 
graduate   of   Harvard,  and  we   judge   that  he  was  a   man    of 

42         Boxboroii[/h  :  a  New  Uiii/Iand  Town  and  its  People. 

education  and  culture,  —  a  faithful  worker,  leading  and  direct- 
ing the  newly-organized  church,  revered,  loved  and  trusted  by 
them  for  upwards  of  half  a  century,  and  that  his  labors,  though 
expended  among  these  country  hills,  were  not  in  vain. 

In  1815  the  question  of  building  a  new  meeting-house  or 
of  i-ei^airing  the  old  began  to  agitate  the  i)eople.  During  the 
next  three  years  many  meetings  were  held,  at  which  various 
measures  were  suggested,  voted  upon,  and  then  reconsidered. 
At  length,  in  May,  1816,  a  vote  was  passed  ''to  leave  it  to  a 
committee  to  determine  whether  the  town  shall  repair  old 
meeting-house  or  build  a  new  one,  and  if  in  the  opinion  of  said 
committee  the  Town  shall  build  a  new  Meeting-house,  they 
shall  appoint  the  place  where  to  set  it."  And  they  chose 
Augustus  Tower,  Esq.  of  Stow,  John  Robins,  Esq.  of  Acton, 
and  Jonathan  Sawyer,  a  ccnnmittee  for  that  purpose.  The  hill 
on  which  tlie  old  church  stood  was  quite  a  little  distance  west 
of  the  centre,  and  so  the  jieople  of  the  east  part  of  the  town 
wished  not  only  to  build  a  new  house,  but  to  have  it  placed 
nearer  the  actual  centre.  According  to  the  records,  the  con- 
troversy grew  stronger,  for  the  said  committee  having  performed 
their  duty  and  brought  in  the  report  "  that  in  their  opinion  it 
would  not  be  for  the  interest  of  the  town  to  repair  the  old,  but 
to  build  new,  and  on  spot  southerly  of  Mr.  Phinchas  Wether- 
bee's  dwelling-house  "  —  a  site  quite  near  the  actual  centre  — 
it  was  voted  "not  to  accept  the  report"  and  "  not  to  reconsider 
the  last  vote  to  repair."  At  a  November  meeting  a. petition 
was  presented,  signed  by  twenty-three  residents  of  the  east 
part  of  the  town,  asking,  ''  First,  for  a  new  meeting-house ; 
second,  that  it  be  placed  on  or  near  site  appointed  by  the  com- 
mittee of  reference  ;  and  if  not,  third,  to  see  if  the  town  will 
vote  that  the  subscribers  be  discharged  from  Boxborougli  that 
they  may  go  to  the  original  Towns  from  which  they  were 
taken."  The  town  was  not  ready  as  a  whole  to  yield  the 
ground  on  the  question  of  a  new  meeting-house,  nor  did  they 
wish  to  lose  any  of  their  citizens,  so  they  voted  "  to  pass  over 
the  article."  Efforts  Avere  made  from  time  to  time  to  bring 
about  a  better  state  of  feeling  between  the  parties,  but  the  new 

Rev.  Aaron  Picket.  43 

house  was  not  built  until  years  after   (in  1836),  neither  were 
there  repairs  made  to  any  extent. 

After  Mr.  AVillarcFs  resignation,  when  the  Rev.  Aaron 
Picket  came  to  be  their  next  minister,  the  manner  of  proced- 
ure was  changed.  The  amendment  to  the  Constitution  discon- 
necting Church  and  State  was  not  passed  until  November, 
1833,  but  the  town-meeting  no  longer  granted  the  minister's 
salary,  or  auctioned  off  his  twenty  cords  of  wood  to  the  lowest 
bidder.  Mr.  Picket  came  in  1826  upon  a  vote  of  the  town  "  to 
hire  him  for  one  year  after  the  money  that  is  alread}-  raised  is 
expended  to  preach  for  them  in  Boxborough,  provided  he  will 
stay  and  they  can  get  money  enough  to  pay  him."  A  division 
similar  to  that  which  occurred  in  so  many  churches  at  about 
that  time  was  imminent  now.  In  1828  they  "voted  to  let 
each  denomination  have  the  meeting-house  their  proportionable 
part  of  the  time  according  to  the  valuation,''  and  they  chose  a 
committee,  in  which  each  denomination  was  represented,  "  to 
lay  out  the  money."  But  from  later  records  it  seems  probable 
that  the  money  was  raised  not  by  assessment,  but  by  sub- 

44         Boxhorouf/h  :   a  Neu)  Eiuihmd  Toum  and  its  People. 





The  separation  came  at  last  in  1829,  when  the  church  desired 
to  call  the  Rev.  James  R.  Gushing  of  the  Theological  Seminary, 
Bangor,  Me.,  to  the  pastorate,  to  which  action  the  parish  raised 
opposition.  The  ground  of  difference  was  in  religious  belief. 
And  so,  May  20,  the  church  met  and  voted  "  That  having 
failed  to  secure  the  concurrence  of  the  1st  Parish  in  inviting- 
Mr.  Gushing  to  become  our  Religious  Teacher  we  proceed  to 
take  the  steps  prescribed  by  law  to  form  a  New  Society  whose 
members  will  concur  with  us  in  taking  the  necessary  measures 
to  secure  to  this  church  the  pastoral  labors  of  Mr.  Gushing." 
Immediately  the  society,  called  the  "  Evangelical  Gongrega- 
tional  Society  in  the  District  of  Boxborough,"  was  legall}" 
formed,  and  having  '•'•  concurred  "  with  the  church,  a  call  Avas 
at  once  extended  to  Mr.  Gushing;  and  the  " solemnities  "  of 
ordination  were  performed  under  an  ancient  elm  near  the  old 
meeting-house,  Aug.  12,  1829.  They  built  their  church  on  its 
present  site,  at  the  junction  of  the  highways,  where  the  Stow 
road  crosses  the  old  turn-pike,  a  little  south-east  of  the  centre, 
near  which  a  comfortable  parsonage  now  stands,  a  point  con- 
venient of  access  from  all  parts  of  the  town.  It  was  "  dedicated 
to  the  worship  of  God  "  Eeb.  6,  1838.  A  sketch  of  those  who 
have  been  connected  with  the  church  as  pastors  may  not  be 
uninteresting.     Mr.  Gushing  was  dismissed  at  his  own  request, 

Paators.  45 

to  become  agent  for  tbe  American  Bible  and  Tract  Society, 
June  12,  1833.  He  Avas  one  of  tbe  Superintending  Scbool 
Committee  for  tbree  years. 

Jan.  13,  1834,  tbe  cbui-eli  and  societ}*  voted  unanimously 
to  give  Rev.  Josepb  Warren  Cross  a  call  to  tbe  pastorate. 
Mr.  Cross  accepted  tbe  call  and  was  ordained  tbe  first  da}^  of 
the  following  October.  Tbis  connection  of  pastor  and  people 
was  dissolved  Nov.  13,  1839,  by  bis  own  request.  He  served 
on  tbe  Scbool  Board  in  1838.  He  is  still  living — at  tbe 
advanced  age  of  eigbty  —  in  West  Boylston,  Mass.  He 
retired  from  tbe  ministry  a  number  of  years  ago.  During  bis 
stay  in  Boxborougb  be  taugbt  a  private  scbool  in  a  building 
erected  for  the  purpose,  nearly  opposite  tbe  new  church,  and 
which  was  also  used  as  a  vestry.  Tbe  building  is  now  a  part 
of  Mr.  Hayden's  barn. 

Rev.  James  D.  Farnsworth  accepted  tbe  pastoral  care  of  tbe 
church  Nov.  28,  1841,  and  was  installed  Jan.  6,  1842.  Tbis 
connection  was  severed  in  1847.  He  was  a  member  of  tbe 
Superintending  Scbool  Committee  in  1842  and  1844,  served  as 
one  of  the  assessors  for  two  consecutive  years  and  was  active  in 
all  that  pertained  to  the  well-being  of  tbe  town. 

A  part  of  the  time  from  1847  to  1851  the  cburcli  was 
supplied  by  Rev.  Mr.  Crossman,  a  3'Oung  Wesleyan  divine, 
who,  in  connection  witb  bis  pnlpit  duties,  performed  those  of 
teacher  in  No.  4  District  for  two  consecutive  winters.  Rev. 
Mr.  Gannett  preached  in  1851-52,  and  Rev.  Leonard  Luce 
became,  the  acting  pastor  from  1853  to  1858.  During  his 
ministrations  tbe  greatest  revival  tbe  church  has  ever  known 
was  enjoyed.  He  died  in  Westford  a  numljer  of  yeai's  ago  at 
tbe  ripe  age  of  eighty-five  years. 

Rev.  James  H.  Fitts,  a  young  man  and  a  native  of  New 
Hampshire,  commenced  bis  labors  as  acting  pastor  of  tbe 
church  Sept.  5,  1858,  and  continued  bis  connection  witb  it  for 
nearly  four  years  ;  then,  having  received  a  call  to  the  church 
in  West  Boylston,  Mass.,  be  preached  bis  farewell  sermon 
July  27,  1802,  and  accepted  the  call  to  that  place. 

46         Boxhorough  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

Kev.  George  N.  Marden  was  ordained  to  the  pastoral  office 
Oct.  2.  1862,  and  dissolved  his  relationship  with  the  church  in 
April,  1865.  He  was  a  fine  scholar,  as  his  sermons  testified. 
He  is  now  connected  with  a  college  at  Colorado  Springs,  Col. 

The  following  November  Rev.  Amos  Holbrook,  of  Milford, 
Mass.,  commenced  his  labors  as  acting  pastor  and  closed  them 
Sept.  1,  1868,  He  had  neither  seminary  education  nor  theo- 
logical training,  but  he  was  a  well-educated  man,  having  held 
the  position  of  principal  of  a  school  in  Milford  previous  to  his 
pastorate  in  Boxborough.  It  was  during  his  stay,  and  owing 
partly  to  his  influence,  that  the  present  parsonage  was  built. 

Feb.  11,  1869,  Rev.  Daniel  McClenning  came,  but  removed 
to  Hanover,  N.  H.,  Apr.  30,  1873.  Socially  he  was  a  perfect 
gentleman  and  very  agreeable  in  manner,  but  his  stjde  of 
preaching  was  censorious  and  severe.  He  was  of  Scotch  ances- 
try and  his  birth-place  was  in  Littleton.  He  died  five  or  six 
years  ago. 

Rev.  John  Wood  supplied  the  pulpit  from  Oct.  26,  1873, 
until  Feb.  28,  1875.  He  was  possessed  of  good  preaching 
ability  and  quite  a  number  of  persons  were  brought  into  the 
church  in  connection  with  his  labors.  He  was  a  i-esident  of 
Wellesley,  Mass.,  at  this  time,  and  came  to  his  charge  each 
week.  He  is  more  than  eighty  years  of  age  and  is  living  in 
Fitchburg,  Mass.,  at  the  present  time. 

After  the  close  of  Mr.  Wood's  pastorate  the  church  was 
supplied  by  Revs.  Wood,  Robie,  Wells  and  others  until  tlie 
first  of  April,  1876,  when  Rev.  Nathan  Thompson  began  his 
labors  in  Boxborough,  continuing  them  until  August,  1881. 
During  his  pastorate,  in  1880,  the  church  was  thoroughly 
repaired,  a  vestry  })laced  beneath  audience-room,  and  the  whole 
fitted  up  neatly  and  conveniently,  so  that,  at  the  present  time, 
it  is  well  adapted  to  the  wants  of  the  people.  Mr.  Thompson 
took  an  active  interest  in  town  affairs  —  the  Lyceum,  the  Far- 
mer's Club,  the  schools,  of  which  he  was  superintendent.  He 
was  a  man  of  lovely  character  and  very  popular  as  a  townsman. 
Previous    to    coming    to     Boxborough    he    liad   been    a    home 

The   Firsf    Parish.  47 

missionary  in  Colorado  for  ten  years,  and  he  left  the  church 
here  to  become  principal  of  Lawrence  Academy,  Groton,  Mass. 
From  Groton,  he  went  to  Klgin,  111.,  where  he  remained 
several  years  as  principal  of  an  academy,  but  at  the  present 
time  is  residing  with  his  family  in  Baltimore,  Md. 

Nov.  6,  1881,  a  call  was  extended  to  Rev.  William  Leonard, 
who  labored  with  the  church  until  April,  1884,  Avhen  he 
removed  to  Barnstable,  Mass.  He  was  of  English  parentage. 
I  quote  a  sentence  from  his  centennial  speech  which  seems  to 
be  characteristic  of  the  man :  "  I  preach  what  I  believe  and 
believe  what  I  preach,  and  no  man  shall  deprive  me  of  this 

Kev.  George  Dustan,  of  Peterboro,  X.  H.,  came  to  the 
church  Dec.  1,  1884,  and  severed  his  connection  with  it  the 
last  of  Februar}^,  1887,  to  take  charge  of  the  Orphan  Asylum, 
Hartford,  Conn.  He  had  been  pastor  of  the  church  in  Peter- 
boro for  a  period  of  twenty-five  years.  He  was  interested  in 
town  affairs,  superintendent  of  schools,  a  member  of  the  Grange 
and  a  very  good  preacher. 

Pev.  George  A.  Perkins,  the  pi-esent  pastor,  began  his 
labors  with  the  church  in  Boxborough  April  1,  1887.  ^h\ 
Perkins  was  a  missionary  in  Turkey  for  a  number  of  years. 
He  is  a  faithful  pastor  and  pi'eacher. 

The  First  Parish  continued  their  Sabbath  services  a  part 
of  the  time  for  several  years  after  the  division  of  1829,  and 
then  they  were  discontinued,  and  the  organization  finally 
became  extinct.  Other  things  of  public  interest,  as  the  store, 
post-office,  blacksmith  and  wagon-shop,  etc.,  have  disappeared 
from  their  Monted  places  on  the  hill,  but  the  chui'ch,  though 
in  a  different  location,  —  through  the  earnest,  continued  efforts 
of  her  members, — still  lives.  Orthodox  and  Universalist 
meet  and  part  and  take  each  other  by  the  hand,  yet  the  old 
differences  seem  not  wholly  forgotten,  the  old  scars  not 
entirely  obliterated.  Time  may  accomplish  what  willing 
hearts  cannot,  and  in  the  not  far  distant  future  the  Universal 
Church,  witliin  whose  fold  all  may  work  together  in  the  ser- 
vice of  our  common  Lord,    haply  shall  spread  its  joyful  wings 

48         Boxhoroi{(/h :  a  New  England  Toivn  and  its  People. 

over  all  these  peaceful  hills  and  valleys.  '^  May  the  Lord 
hasten  it  in  His  time." 

In  passing  we  would  make  mention  of  the  Methodist 
Cliurch,  which  was  situated  in  the  south-west  part  of  the  town 
something  like  eighty  years  ago,  and  which  existed  until  1843. 
I  say  in  the  soutliTwest  part  of  the  town,  but  the  building  — 
although  the  intention  was  to  build  on  Harvard  ground  —  wa-; 
really  erected  on  the  boundary  line  between  Boxborough 
and  Harvard,  owing  to  uncertainty  with  regard  to  the  exact 
location  of  said  l)oundary.  It  was  a  small  building  painted 
red,  and  contiguous  to  it  was  a  noble  spreading  oak.  An 
amusing  anecdote  of  this  old  house  of  worship  is  related  by 
one  of  the  older  residents,  who  remembers  the  building  well. 
A  wayfarer  passing  along  the  Boxborough  highway  one  after- 
noon inquired  of  a  citizen  whom  he  met  the  way  to  the  old 
meeting-house.  "'  O,  go  right  along  until  you  come  to  a  little 
red  house  tied  to  an  oak  tree  ;  that 's  the  Methodist  church,'' 
replied  the  person  accosted,  with  more  celerity  than  reverence. 
Although  there  was  more  or  less  Wesleyan  preaching  for 
several  years,  there  was  no  preaching  by  appointment  of  the 
Conference  after  1843.  Some  of  the  members  transferred  their 
church  relationshi[)  to  Harvard,  others  to  the  Congregational 
church  in  Boxborough,  and  others  to  surrounding  towns  ;  and 
finally,  some  years  later,  the  church  building  was  burned.  The 
old  oak  still  stands  to  iiiark  the  spot. 

There  are  two  organizations  in  which  the  farmers  are 
banded  together  for  iin[)roveineiit.  and  discussion  of  matters  of 
interest,  —  the  Farmer's  Club  and  the- Grange.  The  Farmer's 
Club  has  had  its  existence  for  something  less  than  twenty 
years  ;  tlie  Ciunge  has  been  organized  only  four  years,  yet  it 
seems  to  be  in  successful  operation  and  doing  a  good  work. 

We  quote  a  few  items,  interesting  by  comparison  with  the 
present  time,  from  "  Statistical  Information  relating  to  certain 
Branches  of  Industry  in  Massachusetts  for  1855,"  by  the 
Secretary  of  the  Commonwealth,  Francis  DeWitt ;  ''Box- 
borough —  Value  of  IJaib'oad  cars,  etc.,  m"d.,  -if'SOO ;  cap., 
'f  1000.     Boots  of    all  kinds  m'd   250  })airs  ;  shoes   of  all  kinds 

Centennial  and    To/rn    Officers.  49 

m\l. ,  4,600  pairs  ;  value  of  boots  and  shoes,  #4000.  Char- 
coal ni"d.,  8,500  bush. ;  val.  of  same,  *525.  Butter,  13,640, 
lbs.  ;  val.  of  butter,  -13,410.  Hops,  14  1-2  acres  ;  ho[)S  per 
acre,  700  1U4, ;  val.,  #2556.  Cranberries,  21  acres;  val.,  #512.''' 
A  report  of  this  kind  of  the  present  date  would  probably  con- 
tain few  or  none  of  these  items.  No  business  except  that  of 
ordinary  farming  has  obtained  a  foothold  for  a  number  of  years. 
A  city  gentleman  was  reeentlv  excusing  himself  to  one  of  our 
citizens  on  whom  he  made  a  business  call  for  his  lack  of  the 
knowledge  of  grammar.  •'  I  have  a  good  business  education; 
but  I  do  not  know  much  about  grammar,''  said  he.  •'  The 
people  of  Boxborough  might  as  well  study  grammar  as  not ; 
thei-e  is  nothing  else  to  do,"  replied  the  host.  Perhaps  this 
anecdote  somewhat  exaggerates  the  situation,  but  we  can  gain 
an  idea  from  it. 

Boxl)orough  celebrated  her  centennial  anniversary,  Feb.  24, 
1883,  ''in  the  old  meeting-house  on  the  hill."  The  exercises 
tliroughout  day  and  evening  were  interesting  and  enjoyable. 
Mr.  F.  V.  Knowlton  of  Littleton  gave  an  address,  "  Reminis- 
cences," Rev.  Nathan  Thom})son,  a  former  pastor  in  the  toAvn, 
delivered  the  '*  Historical  Address,  "  and  Mrs.  (x.  F.  Conant 
the  "•  (centennial  Poem."  Mrs.  M.  E.  Burrouglis  contributed 
the  "  Closing  Hymn."  After-dinner  speeches,  full  of  the 
"  early  days  "  hy  present  and  former  townsmen,  with  readings 
In'  Mr.  F.  H.  Pope  of  Leominster,  and  music,  made  up  the 
l)rogramme.  An  account  of  the  pi-oceedings  of  this  "-day  of 
ennol)ling  retrospection  and  glad  reunion "  was  afterwards 
published  in  pamphlet  form,  by  the  town. 

The  following  are  the  town  ofificers  for  the  present  year, 
18'.tl  :  Mr.  A.  Littlefield,  N.  E.  Whitcomb,  J.  H.  Whitcomb, 
Selectmen  and  Assessors ;  D.  W.  Cobleigh,  Treasurer ;  George 
F.  Keyes,  Town  (.Terk  ;  J.  F.  Hayward,  Auditor ;  W.  H.  Fur- 
bush,  N.  E.  Whitcomb,  J.  Warren  Hayward,  Road  Commis- 
sioners ;  C.  H.  Blanchard,  Lewis  W.  Richardson,  Frank  Wliit- 
comb,  A.  M.  Whitcomb,  >S.  P.  Dodge,  8.  B.  Hager,  School 
Committee  ;  Frank  A.  Patch,  Superintendent  of  Schools  ;  C.  T. 
Wetherbee,  Constable  and  Collector. 

50         Boxhorough  :  a  Netv  Ungland  Town  and  its  People. 



An  interesting  landscape  feature  of  the  town  is  Ridge  Hill, 
an  elevation  of  land  very  steep  and  narrow  which  extends  about 
one  half  mile  in  a  nearly  direct  line  through  lands  of  Messrs. 
N.  Wetherbee,  S.  Hoar,  B.  S.  Hager,  and  J.  H.  Orendorff,  and 
finally  merges  itself  in  the  adjoining  hills.  Jt  is  flanked  on  one 
side  for  a  short  distance  b}-  Muddy  Pond  and  on  the  other  by 
Beaver  Brook.  The  soil  is  of  coarse  giuvel  and  supports  a 
growth  of  all  kinds  of  trees,  the  whole  ridge,  with  the  exception 
of  a  few  acres,  being  woodland.  A  narrow  road  or  cart-path 
runs  along  the  crest  —  which  resembles  a  railroad  bed  —  almost 
the  entire  length  of  the  elevation. 

As  we  wander  through  the  fields,  over  the  hills  and  along 
the  valleys,  and  place  our  feet  upon  one  rocky  stratum  and 
another,  we  are  led  to  exclaim  (with  the  disciple  of  old  and 
with  all  reverence),  "What  manner  of  stones  are  here?" 
Whence  came  this  formation  ?  How  far  extend  ?  Of  what 
consist?  (lo  into  the  cave  or  the  quarry.  Stand  beneath  the 
rocky  dome,  and  while  wondering  at  the  work  of  man  gaze 
with  awe  upon  the  creation  of  God. 

Scientists  teach  that  the  earth  was  once  a  ball  of  gaseous 
matter  changed  by  cooling  and  contraction  first  to  a  liquid 
form,  then  by  continued  cooling  and  contraction  forming  a  thin 
granite  crust.  The  melted  interior  broke  through  this  crust 
and  spread  over  the  surface.  This  cooled  and  the  crust  increased 
in  thickness,  so  that  the  melted  interior  broke  through  only  in 
thin  places.     Particles  of  the  surrounding  atmosphere  fell  upon 

Mocks  and  Minerals.  51 

the  crust.  Steam  was  condensed  and  formed  clouds  ;  clouds 
were  consolidated  and  deluged  the  earth  with  torrents  of  rain. 
The  melted  interior  surface  cooled  still  farther  and  formed  a 
solid  crust.  Under  the  influence  of  (chemical  action  disintegra- 
tion took  place.  The  cooling  earth  became  smaller,  the  crust 
wrinkled  and  folded  and  our  mountain  ranges  appeared.  Water 
washed  off  [)articles  of  these  prominences  and  deposited  them 
in  layers  on  the  bed  of  the  oceans,  and  thus  secondary  rocks 
were  formed.  We  And  strata  of  tliese  rocks  on  the  earth's 
surface  extending  thousands  of  feet  in  thickness.  As  the  earth 
still  farther  cooled,  the  crumpled,  outer  crust  broke,  and  those 
once  horizontal  strata  were  upheaved  and  inclined  at  all  angles, 
finally  rising  above  the  surface  of  the  sea.  The  rocky  ledges 
of  our  hills,  the  rough  jutting  crags  in  our  pastures,  our  now 
unused  quarries,  are  doubtless  of  these  and  subsequent  forma- 

The  rocks  of  Boxljorough  are  mainly  limestone  with  its  vary- 
ing shades  and  degrees  of  texture  ;  gneiss  ;  common,  selenitic  and 
other  coarse  granites.  Limestone  is  found  in  quite  large  quan- 
tities in  the  northeast  part  of  the  toAvn  toward  Littleton,  and 
some  years  ago  the  business  of  lime-burning  was  made  quite 
prominent.  The  old  kiln  and  quarry  may  still  be  seen  upon 
the  D.  W.  C'ol)leigh  farm. 

Magnesian  limestone,  found  here,  is  used  in  the  manufacture 
of  Epsom  salts  or  sulphate  of  magnesia. 

Quartz,  the  most  common  mineral  of  our  rocks  and  al)ound- 
ing  in  those  of  all  ages,  is  the  hardest  of  minerals,  its  durability 
being  its  greatest  quality.  Some  fine  specimens  have  been 
i'ouiid  in  tliis  neighborhood,  of  various  kinds  and  colors.  The 
smooth,  uniformly  colored  stones  (»f  the  pebble-bank,  white, 
l)rown,  yellow  or  black,  are  mostly  (juartz.  Erosion  wears  out 
the  softer  materials  and  leaves  the  hard  quartz  constituents 

Feldspar  or  OtJwdase^  a  very  common  mineial  found  in 
granite,  is  also  abundant.  It  is  the  most  common  of  the  sili- 
cates. Our  varieties  are  white,  gray,  and  fiesh-red  in  color. 
Green  is   also  common.     It  is  easih'  mistaken  for  quartz,  and 

f)2         Boxhoi'ough  :  a  Nciv  England  Toirn  and  ita  People. 

.iltliougli  not  <]iiite  so  hard  a  mineral,  is  yet  too  hard  to  be 
scratched  with  a  knife.  It  breaks  with  a  bright  even  surface  — 
brilliant  in  the  sunshine  —  in  one  direction,  and  also  in 
another  dirt'ction  at  right  angles  with  it  but  not  so  easily, 
while  quartz  has  no  cleavage.  Crystallized  feldspar  occurs 
in  gneiss. 

Mica  is  ol)servable  in  greater  or  less  degree  in  many  of  our 
rocks  —  this  mineial  together  with  (juartz  and  feldspar  consti- 
tuting common  granite.  It  has  a  pearly  lustre,  and  varies  in 
color,  our  varieties  com|)rising  Avhite,  black,  and  gray.  It  has 
cleavage  in  laminae  or  plates,  is  elastic,  tough  and  infusible. 
Very  large  plates  are  found  in  N.  H.,  and  in  Siberia  plates 
have  been  discovered  over  one  yard  in  length.  Mica,  like 
feldspar,  contains  the  elements  of  silica  and  alumina  ;  the  light- 
colored  variety  has  besides  these,  })otash  ;  and  the  black  kind 
contains  magnesia  and  iron. 

Black  hornblende  aljounds  in  the  sienitic  granites  and  other 
rocks.  It  resembles  mica,  but  is  a  very  brittle  mineral  and 
cannot  be  split  into  leaves  or  scales  with  a  knife  point.  It 
makes  tough  rocks,  and  therefore  the  first  part  of  the  name, 
/lorn  :  these  heavy  rocks  look  sometimes  like  an  ore  of  iron  and 
from  this  fact  comes  the  second  syllal)le,  blende,  a  German  word 
meaning  blind  or  deceitful.  This  mineral  contains,  besides 
silica,  iron,  magnesia  and  lime. 

Actinolite,  a  green  variety  of  hornl)lende,  is  found  in  the 
magnesian  rocks. 

Radiated  Actinolite,  olive  green,  consisting  of  collections 
of  coarse  acicular  fibers,  also  makes  its  appearance  in  the 
limestone;  and  Asbestus,  resembling  the  radiated,  but 
with  more  delicate  fibers,  may  l)e  found  in  the  same  kind  of 

Purple  Scapolite,  resembling  feldspar,  but  with  a  slight 
fibrous  appearance  on  cleavage  surface,  is  especially  common  in 
granular  limestone.  Some  fine  crystals  are  discoverable  in 
Boxborough.     It  occurs  massive,  as  well. 

Boltonite,  from  the  limestone  formation,  of  a  greenish  color, 
is  a  variety  of  Chrysolite. 

Flora.  53 

Apatite,  occurring-  in  gneiss  and  granular  limestone,  has 
usually  green,  yellowish-green,  bluish-green  or  grayish-green, 
crystals  ;  some  fine  specimens  are  found  in  this  locality. 

(iarnets,  cinnamon-colored  crystals,  transparent,  occur  in 
gneiss  and  limestone. 

Crystaline  Augite  occurs  in  Calcite  Spar  ;  specks  of  Serpen- 
tine, and  Calcareous  Spar,  wine-yellow,  in  limestone. 

Spinel,  Petalite  and  other  minerals  are  also  found. 


There  are  about  70  natural  orders  represented  in  the  flora 
of  this  town,  the  most  im})ortant  being  the  pine  family 

White  Pine  (Pirms  sfrohus),  with  its  awl-shaped  leaves  and 
long,  cylindrical  hanging  cones,  is  the  largest. 

Northern  Pitch  Pine  (^Pinys  rii/ida),  a  stout  tree  with  dark 
green  leaves  and  clustered  ovate-conical  cones,  grows  on  sandy 

Black  or  Double  Sprnce  (^Ahies  ui(/ra)  is  common  in  the 
woods  and  swamps. 

Hemlock  Spi-uce  (^Ahies  Oauadcnsis),  —  a  large  tree  with 
coarse  wood,  —  with  its  gracefully  spreading  brandies  is  found 
on  the  hills. 

Hackmatack,  Tamarack  or  Bald  Spruce  {^Lar'ix  Amfrlcand), 
a  slender  tree  with  short  pale  leaves  and  small  cones,  is  also  a 
native  of  the  swamps. 

Red  Cedar  (^Jimiperus  Virginiana),  is  comparatively  rare. 

Juniper  Qluniperus  communis)  is  common  in  rocky  pastures. 

Of  the  deciduous  trees,  the  maple,  a  fast  grower,  with  its 
leafless  branches  in  winter,  full  green  foliage  in  sunnner 
and  gorgeous  autumn  tints,  is  a  favorite.  We  have  three 
varieties : 

White  or  Silver  Maple  (^Acer  dasyearpum)^  a  handsome  tree 
of  the  lowlands,  with  greenish  apetalous  flowers  in  earliest 
spring,  grows  most  commonly  along  the  banks  of  streams. 

Red  or  Swamp  Maple  (^Acer  Uiihnnn)  has  later  scarlet, 
crimson  or  yellow  blossoms  and  is  found  in  low  grounds. 

54         Boxhorough  :  a  Neiv  England  Toivn  and  its  People. 

Rock  or  Sugar  Maple  (^Arer  m<-r]iar'nnirii)^  Yalual)le  for 
wood,  timber  and  the  sugar  of  its  sap,  tlie  largest  of  the 
species,  here  mainly  takes  the  })laee  of  an  ornamental  shade 

Sweet,  Black  or  Cherry  Birch  (^Befula  lenta)!  has  fine 
grained  valuable  wood,  spicy,  aromatic  leaves  and  baik,  and  is 
seen  everywhere. 

American  White  Birch  (^Betnlapopidifolui),  a  graceful  tree, 
the  smallest  of  the  birches,  has  glossy,  triangular  leaves  and 
prefers  sterile  soil. 

Paper  or  Canoe  Birch  i^Betula  papyraeea)  is  not  verj^ 

Yellow  or  Gray  Birch  (^Betula  lutea^  is  frequently  seen  with 
its  silvery  bark. 

White  Oak  (^Qiiereus  alba').,  a  large  tree, — its  edible  fruit 
produced  annually  and  usually  sweet-tasted,  —  flourishes  in 
rich  soil. 

Yellow  or  Gray  Oak  (^Quercus  priniis)  inhabits  the  same 
localities  as  the  former. 

Red  Oak  {(^h<erri(s  ndn-a),  with  its  coarse,  reddisli  wood,  is 

Chestnut  Oak  (^Quereus  prums)  occasionally  greets  the  e3'e. 

Black  Scrub  and  Swamp  Oak  (^(^uen-iis  ilicifolia  and 
palustris)  are  other  varieties. 

Elms  (^Ulmus  Amerinoia  nnd  rareviom),  well-known,  large, 
majestic  trees,  are  used  foi-  shade  in  many  })laces  and  common 

Chestiuit  (Cffstanea  A)nerirana),  an  inhal)itant  of  the  hills 
and  the  woods,  furnishes  delicious  nuts. 

Butternut  or  White  Walnut  {Juglaus  cineira),  a  medium- 
sized  tree  with  rich  oblong  nuts,  grows  Avild,  also  under  culti- 

Hickory  (^Cart/a  alha  and  poreina),  furnishes,  the  first,  line 
nuts;  the  second,  those  of  an  inferior  {[uality.  The  hrst  species 
is  rare. 

Basswood  {Tilia  Americana)  is  represented  by  a  few  scat- 
tered specimens. 

Trees  and  Shrubs.  55 

White  and  Red  Ash  (^Fraxinus  Americana  and  puhescens} 
rear  their  ash-gray  l)ranches  and  smooth  stalks  in  the  fields  and 

Poplar  or  Aspen  (J*<>j)ii/ux  trnnuJoides  and  i/nnuh'deHtata') 
are  common  to  the  woodlands. 

Cherry  (I'nDius  iicrot'ntd  and  ]lr</ini(Ui(i,)  wild  black  and 
choke  cherry,  have  flowers  in  racemes  and  small  frnits  ripening 
in  snnnncr  and  antumn. 

^Mountain  Ash  (^P//riis  Americana)  is  planted  for  ornament. 

A  few  trees  which  have  been  introduced  from  Europe, 
Asia  or  elsewhere,  may  be  added,  as:  Locust  (Kohinia  Fseu- 
(lar((cia).,  Florse  Chestnnt  (^Ef<cub(s  Hippocasfanum).,  Balm  of 
(lilead  (^Fopnhts  caiKjifunix),  'J'hoi'n  (^Cratrnptx  fomentosa)., 
(Quince  {^Cydotiia  VK/t/ar/s),  I'car  (Pyrus  c<n)imuiiii<),  Apple 
{Pyrus  mains).,  Peacli  ( /'nniiix  J*erxica)^  Plum  (Prmius  do- 
mciitica),  ("herry  (  l*niini^  ccnisiix  and  ariani).  Mulberry 
(3Ior>(s  alha),  Lonibai-dy  I'ophir  {  Poj>id)ix  d/Iafata),  White 
l*o[)lar  {Pnjudiix  alha).,  Catalpa  {('afaJpa  InyiwnioidcH)  and 
Apricot  {J*ri(ini-s  Anneniacti ).    ^ 

l\{nn\)edm  ( CarjaNiis  Americana)  reseml)ling  Beech,  with 
very  hard  wood,  is  rarely  found. 

T^everwood  (Ostrya  Viryiitica)  has  birehdike  leaves  and 
grows  on  Ikidge  Hill. 

liecrh  (Fayi(sferni</inca)  is  occasionally  seen  with  its  close, 
smooth,  light-gray  l)ark. 

Of  shrnl)s  may  l)e  mentioned  : — 

Shad-))ush  {Alcmaitchicr  Cavadcasis),  so  called  because  it 
covers  itself  with  wliite  Ijlossoms  just  when  the  shad  appear  in 
the  rivers. 

Hardluick  and  Meadow  Sweet  (Spircva  tomcnfoxa  i\nd  salici- 
foJIa)  with  their  red  and  white  blossoms  abound  by  roadsides 
and  in  old  pastures. 

High  and  low  Blackberry  (^Ruhui<  viUosus  and  Canadensis) 
flourish  along  thickets  and  fence-rows. 

Ivuspberry  {Rnhus  striyosus  and  oecidentalis)  is  common 
alono-  field  borders. 

56         Boxhorou(/h  :   a  JVeic  Enr/Ianrl  Town  and  its  People. 

Cornel  or  Dogwood  ( Cornus')  grows  fi'om  twelve  to  thirty 
feet  in  height  and  gladdens  the  eye  with  its  profusion  of 
creamy  l)lossonis.     Several  species. 

Arrow-wood  (Virhi(r)nim')  has  several  species:  Shee})- 
berry  (  V.  Lenfdfjo)^  Withe-rod  (  V.  nudnm),  and  Dockmackie 
(  l\  acerifoUum'). 

Under  the  Heath  family  (Eriraccat')  are :  The  Kalmias 
(Latifolia  and  an(/nstifolia)  Mountain  and  Sheep  Laurel ;  the 
former  with  beautiful  glossy  leaves  and  rose  or  white  flowers, 
the  latter  with  crimson  pur})le  blossoms  in  our  pastures : 
Azalea  ( Viscosa),  very  fragrant,  with  lovely  white  or  rosy- 
tinged  clammy  flowers  in  summer;  Rhodora  (^Canadensis) 
with  rose-pink  flowers  ap})earing  before  the  leaves  in  spring ; 
Blueberry  (  Vaccinium  PensyJvanlcnm.,  Canadense  and  corym- 
hosinii),  the  dwarf  the  earliest  to  ripen,  and  the  swamp  berry 
common  to  low  grounds  ;  Huckle])erry  {G-ai/Jiissacla  frondosa 
and  rci<ltioH<()  Avith  black  and  blue  fruit  flourishing  in  pastures  ; 
and  the  Cranberry  (  V(«-<-inium  tnacrocarijon)  which  is  found  in 
the  meadows. 

Sumach  (  Wnix)  has  three  varieties,  —  Poison  Ivy  {K.  Toxl- 
(■ndi-ndro)i)  a  pestiferous  })lant,  climbing  by  rootlets  over  walks 
and  rocks  or  ascending  trees;  Poison  Dogwood  {R.  venr)iatit) 
a  virulent  shrub  in  swampy  ground  and  Smooth  Sumach  (/?. 
Glahra)  the  common  variety  in  old  pastures. 

Alder  ( Aln kk  incana)  finds  a  place  by  roadsides  and  streams. 

Willow  ( S((Il.r),  several  species,    is  abundant  everywhere. 

Sweet  Fern  (  Compfnnld  asjdcin'f<>/{a)  resembles  a  fern  and 
is  aromatic. 

Witch  Hazel  {Hnin((indli<  Vin/iuica)  flowers  late  in 
autumn,  just  as  the  leaves  are- about  to  fall. 

Elder  (jSa/nhncns  Canadensis  and  jndwns)  has  black  and 
red  fruit,  and  white  fragrant  blossoms. 

Button  Bush  (CepJialanthns  occidfntalix)  ornaments  the 
borders  of  ponds  and  streams,  and  has  flagrant  heads  of  Avhite 
flowers  in  summer  and  autumn. 

Barberry  (Berber is  vuJ(/aris)  with  many-flowered  yellow 
racemes  and  red  oblong  berries  ;   Lilac   {/S'/rinf/a  rul</aris)  pale 

JTerbaceoKS    Plants.  57 

violet  and  white;  CiiiTant  (^Hibes  rubrum  mid  cmreum)  :  Goose- 
l)eny  (Ribes  Grrossniaria  and  hertellum)  ;  Rose  (Rosa)  includ- 
ing exotics,  many  species;  Fever  or  Spice  Bush  (Lindera 
Benzoin)  ;  Hazel-nut  (Carylus  Americana^  ;  Sassafras 
(  *S'.  officinale);  Grape  Vines  (^Vitis)  wild  and  cultivated; 
Woodbine  or  Virginia-Creeper  (Ampelopsis  qninqnefolia) ; 
Andromeda  (li(jusfrina)  ;  Bush  Honeysuckle  (Diennlla 
trifida)  ;  Choke  Berry  (Pyt-us  arbutifolia) ;  Bittersweet 
(Oelastrus  .scandens),  and  others,  are  native  here. 

The  following  herbaceous  plants  are  indigenous  :  Violet 
(  Viola),  yellow,  white,  pansy  and  blue,  many  species  ;  Yellow 
Bellwort  ( Uvularia),  several  of  the  species  with  drooping 
yellow  flowers  in  spring;  Wake  Robin  (Trillium  eernuum,) 
with  pure  white  petals  also  in  spring  ;  Solomon's  Seal  (Poly- 
lionntnm  hiflorum),  peduncles  two  flowered ;  Blood-root 
(San<iuinaria  Canadensis),  with  beautiful  white  blossoms  ; 
Anemony  or  Wind  Flower  (Ammone),  several  varieties  with 
frail  Avhite  or  purple  tinted  flowers  ;  Bluets  (Hovstonia  r<vrulea,) 
Avith  light  blue  or  white  yellowish  eyed  corolla ;  Saxifrage 
{Saxifraya  Jlryiniensis),  hlooming  on  ledges  in  early  spring  j 
W^ild  Columbine  (Aquileyia  Canadensis),  with  its  nodding 
scarlet  and  yellow  flowers,  also  making  its  home  on  the  rocks ; 
Jack-in-the-pulpit  (Ariswrna  triplryllmn),  rearing  its  sturdy 
form  in  moist  places ;  Water  Lily  (Nymphjea  odorata),  very 
fragrant,  growing  abundantly  in  Muddy  Pond  and  other 
waters ;  Cardinal  Flower  (Lobelia  cardinalis),  by  brooksides, 
with  Imlliant  deep  red  flowers  in  erect  racemes  ;  Golden  Rod 
(Solidayo)  many  species,  Gentian  (Gentiana  cririita)  and 
Asters,  too  numerous  to  mention,  the  last  flowers  to  bid  us 
farewell  in  the  autumn.* 

*  Herbaceous  Plants  according  to  families. 

A  dash  —  after  the  Latin  name  signifies  many  species. 

Anemony  (Anemone)  several  species.  Virgin's  Bower  {Clematis) .  Meadow  Kue  {Thalic- 
tritm).  Crowfoot,  Buttercup  {Ranunculus  —) .  Yellow  Pond  Lily  {Ntiphar  Advcna). 
Pitcher  Plant  {Sarraccnia  purpurea).  Celandine  {Chelidon'nim  \majus).  Bloodroot 
(Sanguinaria  Canadensis).  Pale  Corydalis  {Corydalis  glauca).  Mustard  {Brassica  —  ). 
Horse-radish  {N asUtrtium) .  Shepherd's  Purse  {Capsclla) .  Violet  {Viola—).  Round-leaved 
'>unA&fi  {Drosera  roiiitidi/olia) .  Frostweed  {Helianthenium  Canadense) .  St.  John's-wort 
{Hypericum — ).  .Soapwort  {Saponaria  officinalis).  Mouse-ear  Chickweed  {Cerastium 
viscosum) .     Common  Starwort    {Stellaria  media).    Sand    Spurrey    {Spergularia  rubra). 

58        Bocrhorough :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

There  are  about  160  species  in  the  Sedge  Family  (Cgper- 
acea^),  and  many  of  these  grow  in  our  low  meadows  and  half- 
reclaimed  hogs. 

The  Grass  Family  (^Gramlnea^^^  a  numerous  one,  has, 
among  others,  the  following  representatives :  Red  Top,  White 
Top,  Blue  Joint,  Orchard,  Meadow,  Spear,  Wire,  Fowl- 
Meadow,  Common  Chess,  Meadow-soft,  Herd's,  Crab  or 
Finger,  Barn,  Witch,  June,  Hassock,  Cut,  Broad-leaved  Panic, 
and  Tickle  Grass. 

Purslane  {Portnlaca  oleraced).  Mallow  (Ma/vn  rotuiidifo/ia) .  Indian  Mallow  (Abuiilon- 
Avicemiae).  Marsh  Marigold  (£"«////«).  Gold-thread  {,Co/>tis).  Co\umb\n&  {Aquilegia  Can- 
adensis) Water  or  Pond  Lily  {NympJucd).  Wood-sorrel  {O.xalis  strict  a).  Spotted  Cranes- 
bill  {Geranium  maculatitm) .  Jewel-weed  {Impatieits  pallida) .  Fringed  Polygala  (Polygala 
paucifolia).  Lupine  {Lupimts perennis).  Sweet  Clover  {Melilofiis  alba).  Trefoil  (Trifo- 
liiim—).  Ground  Nut.  {Apios  tuherosa).  Hog-pe&nut  {Ampliicarptca  MO/ioica) .  False 
Indigo  {Baptisia).  Wild  Senna  (Cassia  Marilandica) .  C'mqaetoW  (Potenfilla—) .  Straw- 
berry {Fragaria  vesca) .  White  Avens  {Gciim  I'irginianum.)  Agrimony  {Agrimonia 
Eiipatoria).  Saxifrage  (Saxi/raga  Virginiensis  and  Pennsylvanua) .  Willow  Herb 
{Epilobitim  angustifolium  and  coloratum).  Evening  Primrose  {Oenothera—).  Carrot 
{Daiicus  Carota).  Caraway.  {Carum  Carvi).  Cleavers  (Galirnn  asprelliim).  Bunch 
Berry  {Cornus  Canadensis).  Partridge  Berry  (Mitchclla  repens).  Bluets  {Houstonia 
cmrulea).  Artichoke  {Cynara  Scolymiis).  Thistle  (Cirsimii—) .  Burdock  {Lappa 
officinalis).  Roman  Wormwood  (Ambrosia  artemisitrfolia) .  Common  Wormwood 
(A.  Absinthium).  Tansy  (Tanacetiim  viilgarc) .  Immortelle  (Atitennaria  margaritacea) . 
Everlasting  (Gnaphalium—)  Thoroughwort  (Eupatorium  pcrfoHatum  and  purptireum) . 
Golden  Ragwort  (^fw^c/f?  «?<r<?;w) .  Golden  Rod  (^oZ/V/rt^o—)-  Starwort  (.4j/^r— ) .  Yarrow 
(Achillea  Millefolium) .  Mayweed  (Mariita  Cotula).  Oxeye  Daisy  (Leucanthcmum  vulgare). 
Ox-eye  (Heliopsis).  Bur-Marigold  (Bideiis  frondosa  and  chrysanthemoides) .  Chicory 
(Cichorium  Intyhus).  Hawkbit  (Lcontodon  autumnale) .  Dandelion  (Taraxacum  Dens- 
leonis).  Wild  Lettuce  (Lactuca  Canadensis).  Blue  Lettuce  (Mulgedium  leucophceum). 
\^o\x\\2L  (Lobelia— ).  Marsh  Bellfiower  (Campanula  aparinoides).  Venus's  Looking-glass 
(Specularia  perfoliata) .  Asparagiis  (officinalis).  Checkerberry  (Gaultheria  procumbens) . 
Winterjrreen  (Pyrola  elliptica) .  Pipsissewa  (Chimaphila  iimbcllata) .  Plantain  (Plantago 
tnajor).  'Loo?,&%Xni&  (Lysimachia—).  M\i\\e.\n  (Verbascu7n  Thapsus).  Speedwell  ( Fi?roM- 
ica  officinalis).  Cow  wheat  (Melampyrum  americamaii)  .  Foxglove  (Gerardia pedicularia) . 
Balmony  (Chelone glabra) .  Wood  Betony  (Pedicularis  Ca7tadensis).  Penstemon  (Yupbes- 
cens).  Painted  Cup  (Castilleia  coccinea) .  Spearmint  (Mentha  viridis).  Heal-all  (Brunella 
vulgaris).  Motherwort  (Leonurus  Cardiaca.)  Bindweed  (Convolvulus  arvensis) .  Bracted 
Bindweed  (Calystegia  sepium).  Bittersweet  (Solanum  Dulcafuara.)  Fringed  Gentian 
(Gentiana  crinita).  Milkweed  (Asclepias—) .  Xioghzn^  (Apocynum  androsaemifolium). 
Garget  (Phytolacca  decandra).  Pigweed  iAmarantus  retroflexus).  Knotweed  (Polygo- 
num-). Khnhaxh  (R Ileum  Khaponiic urn).  Dock,  Sorrel  (A'^wzf.v— ) .  KeMe  (Urtica—) . 
Hop  (Humulus  Lupulus).  Water  Arum  (Calla  palustris) .  Skunk  Cabbage  (Symplocarpus 
fastidus).  Sweet  ¥\a.%  (Acorus  Calamus).  C^.t-i3.\\  ¥\2.g  (Typha  laiifolia).  Arrow-head 
(Sagittaria  variabilis) .  Pickerel- weed  (Pontederia  cordafa) .  Orchis  (Habenaria  Jimbriata 
2t.n6.  psycedes).  Ladies' Tresses  (Spiranthes  cernua).  Rattlesnake  Plantain  (Goodycra 
repens).  'Arethusa  bulbosa.  Calopogon  pulchellus.  Pogonia.  Lady's  Slipper  (Cypripediuvt 
acaule).  Star-grass  (Hypoxys  erecta).  Blue  Flag  (Iris  versicolor).  Blue-eyed  Grass 
(Sisyrinchium  Bermudiana) .  Greenbrier  (Smilax  rotundifolia).  Nodding  Trillium 
(cernuum).  Bellwort  (Uvularia  perfoliata  and  sessilifolia) .  False  Solomon's  Seal 
(Smilacina  bifolia  2inAracemosa).  Solomon's  Seal  (Polygonatum  biflorum).  Lily  (Lilium 
Philadelphicum  and  Canadense) .    Rush  (Juncus  effusus.) 

Fauna.  59 

Of  Ciyptogamous  plants  the  Horse-tail  family  (^Equiseta- 
ceoi)  is  represented  by  several  species ;  and  of  the  Ferns 
(^Filices)  a  large  family,  with  their  delicate  or  coarser  fronds, 
the  following  species  may  be  mentioned  :  Common  Polypody, 
Maiden-hair,  Common  Brake,  Spleenwort,  Beech,  Shield, 
(Ostrich,  Sensitive,  Cinnamon  and  Royal  or  Buck's  Horn  Fern. 

Club-moss  (^Lycopodium)  flourishes  in  the  trailing  ever- 
greens of  our  damp  woods  and  hillsides. 

Mosses  and  lichens  of  many  varieties  are  abundant. 

While  the  surface  of  the  town  is  hilly  and  rocky,  and  the 
soil  not  deep,  j-et  her  sunny  slopes  are  very  productive.  The 
hills  are  crowned  with  luxuriant  orchards,  and  the  pastures 
and  roadsides  abound  in  grapes  and  berries.  Apples,  pears, 
peaches,  grapes,  berries  and  vegetables  are  extensively  culti- 
vated for  the  Boston  markets.  Being  only  about  twenty-seven 
miles  distant  from  that  city,  these  products  can  be  shipped 
there,  fresh,  daily. 


Pioljably  the  Fauna  of  Boxborough  is  much  the  same  as  it 
was  a  hundred  years  ago.  We  find  at  the  present  time  :  musk- 
rat,  with  its  cone-shaped  meadow  house ;  mink,  which  inhabits 
the  streams  and  ponds ;  the  gray  rabbit  of  the  woods ;  the  gray 
fox,  and  the  si}',  red  fox,  pest  of  our  chicken  yards  ;  the  skunk  ; 
the  wood-chuck,  our  burrowing  friend,  lover  of  green  peas  and 
lettuce  ;  weasels,  slender  and  agile ;  squirrels,  gray,  red,  (the 
Indian  chickaree),  flying,  striped  or  chip-munk ;  the  nimble 
far-leaping  deer-mouse  ;  shrew-mole  and  little,  brown,  star-nose 
mole  ;  the  bat,  one  species  ;  wharf-rat,  which  causes  the  common 
Ijlack  rat  to  disappear;  the  cunning  field-mouse,  and  small 
mouse  ;  and  raccoon  with  its  baby's  foot-print. 

The  shooting  of  an  eagle  is  a  feat  said  to  have  been  accom- 
plished by  one  of  the  citizens  in  earlier  days. 

The  following  birds  remain  with  us  through  the  winter : 
crow,  chickadee,  snow-bunting,  blue  jay,  English  sparrow,  black 
and  white  wood-pecker,  quail  and  partridge. 

In  early  spring,  often  in  March,  the  blue-bird,  robin,  song- 
sparrow,  and  blue  snow-bird  retuin  from  the  Soutli.     Later  the 

00         Boxhorough :  a  New  England  Toum  and  its  People. 

red-winged  blackbird,  gold-fincli,  purple  finch,  pliebe  and  bobo- 
link make  their  appearance.  Soon  after,  usually  coming  under 
cover  of  night,  appears  a  host,  and  then,  some  fine  morning  we 
are  fairly  awakened  from  our  slumbers  by  "■  Nature's  Hallelujah  " 
going  on  just  outside  our  windows.  Brown  thrushes,  black- 
birds, cuckoos,  brilliant  plumaged  orioles,  swallows,  —  barn, 
chimney  and  martin,  —  warblers,  —  yellow,  black,  and  white,  — 
wrens,  cat-birds,  vireos,  wood-cock,  cedar  or  cherry  birds, 
whippoorwills,  red-headed  and  downy  wood-peckers,  mourning 
doves,  herons,  king-fishers,  fire-birds,  ducks,  king-birds  and  tiny, 
ruby-throated,  humming  birds,  all  conspire  to  make  vocal  the 
passing  hours.  Hawks  and  owls,  bringing  destruction  in  their 
path,  make  their  appearance  with  the  others,  and  northward  in 
spring,  southward  in  autumn,  with  their  peculiar  note,  flocks  of 
wild  geese  take  tlieir  flight. 

Among  reptiles  may  be  mentioned  the  tortoise  ;  black. 
In-own,  green  and  striped  snakes  ;  spotted  adders  ;  lizards,  and 
toads  and  frogs  of  many  varieties. 

In  the  mid-summer  and  autumn,  when  the  songs  of  the 
birds  are  hushed,  the  cricket  and  katy-did  make  field  and  woody 
copse  resound  with  their  weird  music. 

Trout,  pickerel,  horn-pouts  and  minnows  inhabit  the  streams 
and  ponds. 

Sj^iders  and  insects*,  too  numerous  to  mention,  abound. 
Some  of  them  are  pests  and  nuisances  like  the  Colorado  beetle, 
Avhile  others,  as  tlie  honey  l)ee  and  butterfly,  combine  usefulness 
and  beauty. 

To  these  may  be  added  the  vil)riones,  bacteria,  l)acillii, 
animalculae,  and  possibly  that  other  microscopic  family,  the 
protista,  if  these  may  be  called  animals. 

•Some  of  the  insects  :  Beetles, —  long-horned,  water,  whirling,  flat-boring,  snapping,  death- 
watch  or  ticking;  fire  flies,  Dorr  bugs,  rose  bugs,  weevils,  cucumber  bugs,  squash  bugs,  grass- 
hoppers and  locusts  or  harvest  flies,  house  and  horse  flies,  dragon  flies  or  devil's  needles,  saw 
flies,  mosquitos,  aphides,  ants,  wasps,  hornets,  bees  of  various  kinds,  butterflies,  moths, 
caterpillars,  cut-worms,  canker  worms,  apple  and  meal  worms. 

Induntrii'H  and  Shoemakers'   ShopH.  61 



Sixty  yeai-s  ago  or  more  coopering  was  quite  an  important 
business.  Lumber  was  plenty,  and  beef,  pork,  fish  and  cider 
barrels   were  manufactured  in  large  quantities. 

Cider-making  was  also  extensively  carried  on  in  those  days, 
and  almost  every  farmer  was  careful  to  store  in  the  autumn  a 
goodly  number  of  barrels  of  the  enlivening  beverage  in  his 
cellar.  It  was  customary  not  only  to  use  it  freely  in  the  famil}- 
1)ut  also  to  "  treat"  with  it  at  that  time,  and  that  one  who  was 
dilatory  enough  to  be  the  last  of  the  family  to  appear  in  the 
morning  was  doomed  to  be  tapster.  Something  of  the  exces- 
sive use  of  cider  may  be  gleaned  from  the  remark  of  a  farmer 
of  this  period  who  said,  "  I  put  eighty  barrels  into  ni}'  cellar 
last  fall,  and  I  had  them  all  washed  out  by  the  first  of  March." 
Times  have  changed,  and  now  there  are  very  few  who  keep  it 
even  for  their  own  use. 

After  coopering  came  the  hop-raising  epoch,  then  the  fruit 
and  dairy  business  flourished  for  a  time,  followed  by  the  milk 
and  fruit  business  which  engrosses  the  attention  of  the  farmers 
at  the  present  time.  Small  fruits  have  very  recently  Ijecome 
important.  Most  of  the  farmers  are  engaged  in  tlie  production 
of  milk  for  the  Boston  market. 

shoemakers'    shops. 

Fifty  or  sixt}'  3"ears  ago  shoemakers'  shops  might  ha\'e  been 
found  in  Boxborough  where    the  business  was    carried  on  to 

62         Boxhorouffli :  a  New  Unr/Iand  Town  and  its  People. 

some  extent.  At  Reuben  Houghton's  shoes  were  manufactured 
and  five  or  six  hands  were  employed ;  also  at  Samuel  and 
Nathaniel  Mead's   help  was  em})loyed. 


In  the  early  days  before  the  railroad  there  was  an  oil  mill, 
Phinehas  Stone,  afterwards  Benjamin  Draper,  proprietor, 
situated  on  Maurice  Griffin's  place.  Later  Reuben  Draper 
owned  a  wheelwright  and  blacksmith's  shop,  and  Ephraim 
R(^bbins,  a  grist  mill,  which  he  had  built,  —  on  the  John 
(iriffin  farm.  The  mill  was  afterwards  owned  by  Stillman 
Whitcomb,  a  brother  of  Peter  Whitcomb  who  subsequently 
came  in  possession  of  it.  The  mill  interest  was  probably  given 
up  about  that  time.  There  was  also  a  wheelwright  and  black- 
smith's shop  on  the  hill  for  many  years,  occupied  by  Geo.  L. 
Peters,  —  who  was  living  then  in  Mr.  Crouch's  house  which 
he  built,  —  and  a  blacksmith's  shop  on  the  spot  where  the 
Orthodox  parsonage  now  stands,  in  which  Mr.  Wheeler  did 

A  saw  mill  and  a  shingle  mill  once  flourished  above  John 
Sherry's,  on  the  brook  flowing  from  the  mill-pond  situated 
wliere  now  are  the  smooth  green  acres  of  Horse  Meadow. 

A  comb  factory  existed  at  the  Silas  Hoar  place  for  a  good 
many  years,  and  at  C-harles  Veasie's,  William  Emmons  had  a 
piano  manufactory.  Simon  Draper  had  a  shop  for  getting  out 
piano  stuff  on  the  hill.  It  stood  on  a  spot  between  where  Mr. 
Lyman  Mead's  house  and  barn  now  stand. 

Mr.  Edmund  Fletcher,  living  on  the  Littlefield  farm,  Avas  a 
pork-})acker,  and  carried  on  his  Ijusiness  at  that  place. 


Somewhere  about  1830,  before  West  Acton  was,  and  when 
the  neighboring  villages  were  in  their  infancy,  Captain 
Lyman  Bigelow  was  proprietor  of  an  old  store  on  the  hill, 
situated  where  Mr.  William  Moore's  carriage  house  now 
stands.  It  was  the  largest  one  for  miles  around  and  was 
patronized  from  far  and  near,  citizens  of  Acton,  Littleton  and 
Harvard   comino-   to  it  to  do   tlieir   trading.      In  those  days  it 

Stores.  63 

was  the  custom  —  and  Captain  Bigelow's  was  no  exception  to 
the  rule  —  for  first  chiss  country  stores  to  keep,  in  addition  to 
a  large  variety  of  other  articles,  a  goodly  stock  of  liquors,  thus 
doubtless  increasing  the  number  of  their  patrons. 

Sometime  before  Captain  Bigelow's  proprietorship,  Mr. 
(xoodenough  kept  store,  and  also  Mr.  Hapgood  ;  Mr.  Hapgood 
was  killed  l)y  the  accidental  discharge  of  a  gun  in  his  doorway, 
and  Captain  Bigelow  purchased  the  business,  probably  keeping 
the  old  stand  for  a  short  time.  He  afterwards  built  a  new 
store.  Captain  Bigelow  was  succeeded  in  the  mercantile 
l)usiness  by  George  B.  Talbot,  Lyman  Waldo  Bigelow, 
William  Pitt  Brigliam,  E.  B.  Cobleigh,  Lyman  Mead  (about 
1854 ),  and  others,  but  the  store  was  finally  given  up  al)out 
thirty-five  years  ago.  The  new  store  building  situated  on  the 
original  site  is  now  ]Mr.  ]\Ioore's  barn.  The  up[)er  floor  of  the 
building  in  former  daj's  was  used  as  a  hall,  and  the  old  people 
of  today  —  the  younger  generation  then  —  smile  as  they  tell 
you  of  the  many  dances  they  have  attended  in  it. 

There  was  also  a  store  for  a  short  time,  where  Mr.  Bramau 
now  lives,  kept  by  Mr.  Solomon  llager;  and  another  situated 
in  the  corner  of  tlie  pasture  opposite  the  house  where  the 
Steele  Brothers  now  reside,  of  which  Samuel  Hayward  was 
pro[)rietor.  These  were  both  grocery  stores  sim^jl}-,  the  latter 
one  doing  business  many  years.  Mr.  Hayward's  store  building 
was  finally  removed  to  West  ^Vcton  in  1845,  where  it  became 
Mr.  Faulkner's  house. 

woman's  work  and  duties  now  and  fifty  years  ago. 

"  Forenoon  and  afternoon  and  night. 
Forenoon  and  afternoon  and  night. 
Forenoon  and  afternoon  and  —  What  I 
The  empty  song  repeats  itself.     No  more .' 
Yea,  this  is  life.     Make  this  forenoon  sublime  ; 
This  afternoon  a  psalm :  this  night  a  prayer, 
And  time  is  conquered  and  thy  crown  is  won.'" 

If  the  idea  advanced  by  the  poet  is  correct  then  there  is  no 
material  difference  between  woman's  work  and  duties  now  and 
fifty  or  a  hundred  years  ago.     We  fill  the  whole  time  with  work 

64         Boxhorough :  a  New  Um/land  Town  and  its  People. 

or  duty  of  some  kind,  and  as  the  poem  has  it,  tlie  hours  and 
days,  and  years,  repeat  themselves,  —  and  this  is  life.  And  yet 
there  are  differences  in  some  departments  of  woman's  work  and 
duties  of  whic'li  we  may  speak.  Fifty  years  ago  our  mothers 
did  not  have  as  much  sewing  to  do  as  do  we,  or  at  least  they 
were  sufficiently  sensible  not  to  do  so  much.  Said  a  lady  — 
one  of  our  older  citizens  —  in  speaking  upon  this  subject, 
"  Fifty  years  ago  my  mother  hired  a  dress-maker  for  the  day, — 
and  I  think  the  remuneration  at  that  time  was  about  seventy- 
five  cents,  —  and  she  cut  and  basted  four  dresses  such  as  were 
then  worn,  within  that  time,  and  did  it  all  by  hand,  having  no 
help  whatever  in  her  work  except  what  aid  was  rendered  by 
one  member  of  the  family  in  the  way  of  basting  on  piping  cord." 
In  this  wonderful  last  decade  of  the  nineteenth  century,  the 
average  dress-maker  requires  the  whole  day,  at  the  expense  of 
one  dollar  and  a  quarter  or  more,  to  cut  and  plan  one  dress, 
and  she  inveigles  all  the  ladies  of  the  household  into  her  work- 
room, and  keeps  them  supplied  with  folds,  puffs,  tucks,  cuffs, 
collars,  etc.,  etc.,  besides  calling  to  her  assistance  a  New  Home, 
Hartford,  or  Wheeler  and  Wilson  sewing-machine.  Now  we 
do  not  wish  to  acknowledge  that  we  are  less  active  or  energetic 
—  in  otlier  words,  less  smart  —  than  our  fore-mothers,  and  so 
unable  to  do  as  much  work  in  the  same  time,  and  therefore  we 
conclude  and  say  they  did  not  put  as  much  work  into  a  dress, 
ordinarily,  fifty  years  ago  as  they  do  today. 

Half  a  century  ago  the  women  of  the  household  were  up 
betimes  setting  and  skimming  milk,  churning  the  cream,  Avork- 
ing  and  putting  up  butter,  making  cheese,  washing  pans  and 
pails,  etc.  Nowadays,  a  certain  number  of  milk-cans  are  left  at 
the  housewife's  door  each  day  to  be  washed  and  placed  on  the 
rack  to  dry,  and  that  is  about  all  that  most  of  us  know  of  the  dairy 
Ijusiness.  Fifty  years  ago,  all  the  knitting  for  the  household 
was  done  by  the  women's  active  fingers.  Now  the  greater  part 
of  our  fannly  hosiery  is  ol^tained  from  the  machine-knit  products 
of  the  dry-goods  counter. 

Tliere  was  some  weaving  performed  l)y  the  housewife  fifty 
years  ago  ;  coarse  fabrics,  such  as  frocking,  cheese  and  strainer- 

Woinaii'i<  Work  Fifty  Years  Ago.  65 

clotli,  were  woven  in  the  household.  Even  these  are  now,  — 
as  well  as  all  other  stuffs,  —  obtained  from  the  factory 

At  the  beginning  of  the  last  half  eentur}-,  the  washer- 
woman wearily  turned  and  twisted  and  wrung  the  clothing 
IVom  tub  to  tub,  until  hands  and  wrists  ached  with  the  opera- 
tion ;  now,  she  quietly  places  the  P^ureka,  or  Universal,  clothes- 
wringer  on  the  side  of  her  tnl),  jjresses  her  liege  lord  into 
service,  finishes  her  Avashing  betimes,  and.  comparatively 
TUiwearied,  goes  out  and  plays  a  game  of  cro(|uetor  lawn-teiniis 
l)efore  dinner. 

Fifty  years  ago  the  kitchen  stove  of  a  warm  summer's  day. 
or  any  other  day  for  that  matter,  might  be  seen  covered  Avith 
kettles,  —  kettles  for  meats,  kettles  for  vegetables,  kettles  for 
])uddings,  kettles  for  water ;  in  short,  no  end  of  kettles  to  be 
lifted,  cleaned  and  carried  away,  exhausting  woman's  time  and 
strength ;  now,  a  three-story  steamer  on  one  corner  of  the 
range  and  a  water-tank  upon  the  back  part  of  the  same  take 
the  place  of  all  these  inconveniences.  Outdoor  farming  imple- 
ments have  improved  in  even  greater  ratio. 

When  the  Lyceum  first  began  in  Boxborough,  the  gentle- 
men, for  the  most  part,  took  whatever  active  parts  were  taken 
in  it.  One  of  the  first  questions  for  discussion  was  this  : 
'^  Resolved,  that  the  rich  man  is  more  independent  than  the 
poor  man."  Mr.  Solomon  Hager  took  the  affirmative,  and  ^Ir. 
Samuel  Mead  the  negative  side  of  the  question.  Mr.  Hager 
won  the  argument.  This  little  incident  would  show  that 
although  woman's  Avork  and  duties  liaA^e  changed  somcAvhat 
within  the  last  fifty  years,  men's  ideas  haA^e  not,  altogether,  for 
that  question  Avould  doubtless  be  decided  in  just  the  same  Avay 
today.  Beside  the  Lj'ceum,  a  half  century  ago,  there  were  a 
fcAV  balls,  two  or  three  spelling-schools,  and  perhaps  a  singing- 
school  to  be  attended.  The  programme  for  1891  is  something- 
like  this  :  Eighteen  or  tAventy  regular  (xrange  meetings,  twelve 
or  fifteen  sociables,  tAvo  or  three  Y.  P.  S.  C.  E.  entertainments, 
a  dozen  or  so  District  Grange  meetings,  half  a  dozen  Mission- 
ary meetings,  besides  occasional  gatherings  of  other  kinds ;  and 

66        Boxborovgh :  a  Neiv  Enfjland  Town  and  its  People. 

for  these  must  be  prepared,  —  a  reading  for  the  Grange  evening, 
a  recitation  for  the  sociable,  music  for  the  Y.  P.  S.  C.  E.,  a 
report  for  the  Missionary  meeting,  an  essay  for  the  District 
Grange,  etc.,  etc.  These  duties,  —  or  shall  we  call  them  simply 
works  ?  —  take  the  time  and  the  strength  of  the  women  of 
today,  whereas  fifty  years  ago  they  scarcely  were  called  upon 
for  such  work  at  all.  These  things,  together  with  the  duties 
of  the  home  circle,  at  the  present  time,  make  the  life  of  woman 
a  very  busy  one.  Today  there  is  hardly  any  occupation  or 
j)rofession  of  importance  to  which  man  aspires  that  woman  may 
not  attain,  if  she  be  only  willing  to  work  for  it.  And  those 
women  who  are  at  liberty  to  take  such  positions,  no  doubt 
consider  that  in  accepting  them  they  are  not  only  doing  their 
work  but  their  duty  as  well.  But  any  position  worth  achieving, 
any  work  worth  accomplishing,  requires  steady,  persistent  effort 
on  the  part  of  the  one  who  would  win  the  race. 

"  No  temple  ever  rose  from  base  to  dome, 

A  dream  embalmed  in  stone,  without  slow  toil 

And  patient  hand  ;  *  *  *  Divinity 

Has  set  its  seal  upon  brave  souls,  'free  will,' 

That  means  they  may  achieve,  create,  subdue, 

And  stand  preeminent,  the  arbiters 

Of  Fate  and  not  her  slave." 


Sometime  in  the  early  part  of  the  [)resent  century,  through 
the  efforts  of  Rev.  Nathaniel  Fletcher,  —  who  formerly  resided 
upon  the  D.  W.  Cobleigh  place,  and  who  died  in  1834  while 
filling  the  position  of  selectman,  —  the  benefits  of  a  post-office 
were  conferred  upon  the  people  of  Boxborough.  At  first  it 
was  established  in  Captain  Lyman  Bigelow's  store  and  Captain 
Bigelow  was  postmaster.  He  was  succeeded  in  this  position 
by  his  son-in-law,  George  B.  Talbot,  his  son  Lyman  Waldo 
Bigelow,  then  by  a  nephew  of  Mr.  Talbot,  and  William  Pitt 
Brigham.  Afterwards  the  post-office  was  removed  to  Mr. 
Jerome  Priest's,  with  Oliver  Wetherbee  postmaster,  who 
retained  the  position  until  the  office  was  given  up.  After  a 
time  by  a  union  of  forces  the  Boxborough  office  was  removed 

Lyceums.  67 

to  the  village  of  West  Acton,  and  thus  was  made  to  serve  for 
both  places,  the  Boxborough  mail,  for  some  slight  consideration, 
being  sent  on  to  that  place  by  some  one  of  her  citizens.  The 
l)ranch  office  at  different  times  was  stationed  at  James  R. 
Hayden's,  Mr.  Jackson's,  (Peter  Whitcomb  place),  Mr.  F'elch's 
and  Mr.  Walter  Mead's. 

Fifty  or  sixty  years  ago  iVIr.  Haradon  drove  the  old  stage- 
coach from  Concord  to  Harvard,  and  bringing  the  mail-bag 
deposited  it  at  the  house  of  Nathaniel  Mead,  whence  it  was 
taken  by  Captain  Bigelow  to  the  office  in  his  store.  Later  Mr, 
Bridge  of  Harvard  carried  it  with  his  four-horse  stage,  which 
afterwards  degenerated  to  a  tA\o-horse  one,  and  finally  was 
discontinued  altogether  as  the  railroad  made  its  appearance. 
At  last,  no  one  wishing  to  be  troubled  with  the  care  of  the 
mail,  it  was  no  longer  sent  to  Boxborough,  but  West  Acton 
became  the  office  for  both  places. 

Between  fifty  and  sixt}-  years  ago,  the  old  Lyceum  held  its 
meetings  in  the  town  hall.  Captain  Lyman  Bigelow  was 
president,  Samuel  Mead,  vice-president,  and  Mr. Wood,  secretary, 
i  lere  the  town's  people  met  together.  Here  the  citizens  made 
tlieir  maiden  speeches  or  gave  utterance  to  their  more  finished 
flights  of  oratory.  Later  a  young  people's  Lyceum  was 
oi'ganized  which  held  its  meetings  at  No.  1  school-house,  but 
this  was  neither  so  well  attended  nor  so  far-reaching  in  its 
influence  as  the  other. 

Nov.  27,  1852,  a  Debating  Club  was  organized  Avith  the 
following  officers :  Oliver  Wetherbee,  president ;  Granville 
Whitcomb,  vice-president;  S.  W.  Draper,  secretary;  Eliab  G. 
liced,  treasurer ;  Luke  Blanchard,  Reuben  M.  Draper  and 
J>yman  ^lead,  directors.  Ladies  were  admitted  to  the  Club 
as  honorary  members.  Tliirt3'-seven  names  appear  upon  the 
records  of  this  society,  which  held  its  meetings  onl}"  until  Jan. 
1855.  Questions  of  world-wide  interest  were  freely  discussed 
l)y  disputants  appointed  at  a  previous  meeting ;  among  them 
we  notice  the   names  of  man}-  of  the  older  citizens  of  today. 

68         Boxhorovf/h  :  a  JVew  Unf/Iand  Toivn  and  its  People. 

An  interesting  occurrence  in  connection  with  this  short- 
lived organization  was  a   Tea  Party  which  was  given  in  1853. 

E.  G.  Reed,  Luke  Bhmchard,  Mrs.  A.  A.  Reed  and  Miss 
Caroline   lUanchard  were  chosen  a  committee   to   superintend 

"the  affair.  Tlie  committee  reported  a  balance  in  their  hand, 
over  and  above  all  expenses,  of  1109.93,  and  it  was  forthwith 
voted  to  have  a  singing-school ;  also,  a  committee  was  chosen 
to  hire  a  master  and  su})erintend  the  opening  of  said  school  tlie 
following  November. 

During  the  time  that  Rev.  N.  'Jliompson  was  pastor  of  the 
Congregational  church  (1876-1881),  another  Lj-ceum  was 
organized.  It  was  the  outcome  of  the  Historical  Society 
which  had  previously  been  formed  through  the  influence  of 
Mr.  Thompson  and  his  wife.  The  meetings  of  this  societ}- 
were  held  at  the  parsonage.  The  following  names  were  on  its 
membership  list :     Mr.  and  Mrs.  Thompson,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  G. 

F.  Conant,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Willard  Blanchard,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  J. 
H.  Orendorff,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  R.  Y.  Nelson,  Cornelia  Hayward, 
Clara  Hamilton,  JNIary  E.  Hager,  and  Clara  and  Quincy  Hay- 
ward.  With  the  thought  in  mind  that  perhaps  an  organization 
like  the  Lyceum  would  benefit  a  larger  number,  it  was  decided 
to  merge  the  society  in  the  Lyceum  and  the  change  was 
effected  one  evening  at  the  vestry  at  a  meeting  of  the  Ladies' 
Circle.  This  last  Lyceum  flourished  for  a  few  years  and  then 
the  interest  flagged  and  the  meetings  finally  ceased.  Its  place 
is  very  well  supplied  at  present  by  the  Grange. 


Many  years  ago  the  "  Slam  Bang  Company  "  was  an  insti- 
tution in  Boxborough.  Mr.  James  Hayward  of  West  Acton 
was  a  captain  in  this  company,  also  Oliver  Taylor,  Sr.,  and 
Oliver  Taylor,  Jr.  The  oflicial  titles  of  many  of  the  older 
residents  indicate  their  probable  connection  with  it.  In  later 
times  the  "  Boxborough  Light  Infantry  Company "  absorbed 
the  interest  of  her  patriotic  young  men.  It  Avas  organized 
about  1838  or '40,  with  llie  following  commissioned  officers: 
captain,  \'arnum  Taylor ;  1st  lieutenant,  W'm.  Pitt   Brigham ; 

PiihUc  Library.  (J9 

2d  lieutenant,  John  Wetherbee ;  3d  lieutenant,  Solomon 
Hager;  and  1st  sergeant,  Levi  Stevens.  Gayly  equipped  in 
their  lilue  broadcloth  uniforms  and  white  epaulets,  they  pre- 
sented a  pleasing  sight  as  they  met  annually  for  tlieir  tln-ee 
days'  training. 

An  amusing  anecdote  is  related  of  this  company.  Captain 
Taylor  having  resigned,  the  captaincy  Avas  tendered  Mr.  Brig- 
ham,  the  1st  lieutenant.  He  having  declined  the  honor,  the 
remaining  officers  v.ere  passed  by  and  the  position  offered  to 
Corporal  Dustin,  a  non-commissioned  officer,  who  accepted  it. 
One  day,  having  promised  to  parade  with  liis  company  on 
Harvard  Common,  Captain  Dustin  started  out  with  them;  but 
upon  arriving  at  Harvard  line  they  refused  to  stir  a  step 
farther.  Enraged  at  this  behavior  he  marclied  them  over 
every  road  in  town  as  far  as  the  boundary  line  before  he 
dismissed  them. 


March  1(3,  1891,  the  town  passed  a  vote  availing  them- 
selves of  the  provisions  of  the  Acts  of  the  I^egislature  of  1890, 
Chapter  347,  for  promoting  the  establisliment  of  a  Free  Public 
Library.  They  appoiiited  Mr.  A.  \\ .  AVether])ee  and  Miss 
Mabel  B.  Priest  trustees  for  one  3'ear,  Mr.  J.  H.  Orendorff  and 
Mrs.  Charles  H.  Burroughs  for  two  years,  and  Mr.  Albert 
Littlefield  and  Mrs.  Simon  B.  Hager,  for  three  years,  and 
appropriated  a  sum  of  money  sufficient  to  meet  the  State 
re([uirement,  also  one  hundred  dollars  for  general  liljrary 
pur[)oses.  At  a  meeting  of  the  trustees,  Mr.  Littlefield  was 
chosen  chairman.  ]\h\s.  Hager,  secretary,  J.  H.  Orendorff,  AL-s. 
C.  H.  liurrouglis  and  Miss  M.  B.  Priest,  finance  committee, 
J.  H.  Orendorff.  A.  W.  Wetherbee  and  A.  Littlefield,  library 
committee,  and  Ah-s.  J.  H.  Orendorff,  lil^rarian.  One  hundred 
and  eighty-six  volumes  have  Ijeen  placed  in  the  Lilmirj-  Room 
at  J.  H.  Orendorffs  in  charge  of  tlie  libiarian,  and  there  is  a  sum 
of  money  —  al)out  seventy  dollars,  a  [)art  of  it  the  contriljution 
of  the  (irange  — in  tinanee  conmiittce's  hands  for  the  purchase 
of  more  books. 

70         BoxhoroKfjh  :  a  Neiv  EngJand  Town  and  its  People. 


A  Ma}'  Party  has  been  held  at  No.  3  school-house  on  the 
first  of  May  every  year  for  the  past  t\Yenty  years.  It  originated 
with  Mr.  Oliver  AVetherbee,  superintendent  of  the  schools. 
At  first  only  a  few  families,  taking  their  lunch  with  them,  met 
togetliei-  at  the  school-house,  and  spent  the  day  })lanting  trees 
in  the  school-yard.  After  a  time,  the  yard  being  full,  no  more 
trees  were  set,  but  the  occasion  l)ecame  one  of  reunion  for  tlie 
pupils  and  friends  of  the  school.  May  1,  1891,  they  held  their 
twentieth  reunion.  Not  onlj-  the  former  })Upils  with  their 
families  and  friends,  but  guests  from  all  parts  of  the  town  were 
present  and  participated  in  the  bountiful  collation  at  noon, 
also  the  interesting  programme  of  music  and  speeches  which 
succeeded  it.  Mrs.  Simon  B.  Hager  presented  the  following 
original   poem : 

MAY-DAY,    NO.    3    SCHOOL. 
1871— 1S91. 

The  twentieth  year  !  and  once  again, 
We  stand  within  these  walls  today ; 
Within  us  beat  the  hearts  of  men,  — 
Around  us  breathe  the  airs  of  May. 
A  score  of  years  !  not  very  long 
Since  at  the  first  a  few  there  met 
And  lunched  to  tune  of  Nature's  song, 
And  in  the  yard  the  tirst  trees  set. 

This  house,  then,  like  the  day,  was  new. 
And  hands  were  brisk  and  hearts  were  light ; 
We  planted  saplings  and  they  grew. 
And  year  by  year,  to  left  and  right, 
Increased  in  number,  till  the  yard 
Was,  — as  our  hearts  are  sometimes,  — full ; 
Thenceforth  from  planting  trees  debarred, 
We  've  come  of  Friendship's  flowers  to  cull. 

Reunions  three,  within  the  score. 
The  elements  have  had  their  will. 
Till  darkling  clouds  could  weep  no  more. 
And  Nature's  voice  was  hushed  and  still. 
Yet  one,  whose  songs  we  oft  recall, 
Wrote  what  is  "  best "  for  you  and  me  ; 
"  Into  each  life  some  rain  must  fall. 
Some  days  must  dark  and  dreary  be." 

Mafjazhie  (Jluha.  71 

This  gladsome  day  its  fulness  yields, 
We  list  the  music  of  the  rill ; 
The  sweet  May  blooms  are  in  the  fields, 
We  "ve  but  to  stoop  our  hands  to  till. 
The  twentieth  year !  and  sunny  days 
Have  been,  as  are  the  flowers  of  spring, 
As  freely  given  along  our  ways 
With  hope  and  gladness  blossoming. 

Today,  from  homes  afar  and  near,  — 
The  books  and  slates  all  left  behind, — 
We  come  to  join  this  May-day  cheer, 
Assured  we  shall  a  welcome  tind. 
Around  the  well-filled  board  we  meet, 
(ilad  reminiscences  prolong, 
Take  once  again  the  pupil's  seat. 
While  well-known  voices  blend  in  song. 

Ikit  through  the  branches  of  the  trees, 

The  leafy  grove  our  hands  have  set, 

Is  borne  upon  the  quiet  breeze, 

A  whisper  we  may  not  forget; 

"  We  "re  nol  all  here  !     We  're  not  all  here  ! "' 

Ay,  broken  is  our  merry  band  ; 

This  is,  indeed,  the  twentieth  year. 

And  two  have  passed  them  o  'er  the  strand. 

They've  entered  in  a  higher  class, 
Wliile  parents,  teachers,  scholars,  wait ; 
No  more  we  '11  meet  them,  till  we  pass 
The  ever  inward  turning  gate. 
Again  the  zephyrs  call  anon ; 
"The  Twentieth  Year  lifts  up  her  voice  ; 
Learn  well  thy  task ;  the  victory  won, 
Within  thy  Father's  house,  rejoice.'' 


A  jMagaziiie  Club  was  organized  September  1879,  which 
has  ])een  in  successful  operation  clown  to  the  present  time.  Mr. 
A.  W.  Wetherbee  is  president,  and  Mrs.  J.  H.  Orendorff, 
secretary.  Their  periodicals,  Atlantic^  iScribners,  Century,  St. 
Nicholas^  Harper's,  Forum  and  Independent,  are  each  passed  to 
some  one  member  to  be  kept  for  a  specified  time  and  then 
passed  on  to  another  for  the  same  length  of  time  until  all  have 
had  the  reading  of  them.  Each  citizen  pays  one  dollar  and  a 
half  a  year  for  the  privilege  of  becoming  a  member. 

72         Boxbonnu/h  :  a  New  England  Toivn>  an<l  its  People. 

Through  the  influence  of  Mrs.  N.  Thompson  and  Miss 
Minnie  Burroughs,  a  Juvenile  Club  was  organized  a  year  ago, 
which  has  a  membership  of  eighteen  young  people  and  is  doing 
a  good  work.  I'he  fee  is  only  twenty-five  cents  a  year  and  the 
very  Ijcst  juvenile  literature  is  taken.  ^Nliss  liurroughs  has 
charge  of  it. 


Ordei-  Patrons  of  Husbandry.  Hon.  ().  II.  Kelley  now  of 
Fh)rida  originated  it  Dec.  4,  18(17,  in  Washington,  I).  ('.  The 
oi'der  i'a|)idl)^  increasing  spread  throughout  our  country  and 
even  into  the  liritish  provinces,  gathering  a  large  membersliiiJ. 

Boxborough  (Irange  No.  131  was  organized  in  March  188(5, 
and  held  its  first  regular  meeting  March  11,  of  that  year.  Mr. 
A.  Littlefield  was  chosen  master,  Mr.  J.  H.  Orendorff,  over- 
seer, ]\Iiss  ]\Iabel  B.  Priest,  lecturer,  and  Mrs.  .1.  M.  Orendorff, 
secretary.  Mr.  Littlefield  was  followed  by  S.  B.  Hager  and 
A.  M.  Whitcond)  in  the  master's  chair;  jNIessrs.  C.  T.  Wether- 
bee,  S.  B.  Hager,  W.  H.  Furbush  and  A.  M.  Whitcomb  have 
served  as  overseers;  Miss  M.  E.  Hager,  Mr.  C.  T.  AVetherbee 
and  Mr.  A.  Littlefield  have  filled  the  lecturer's  jxisiiion  and 
.Mr.  J.  II.  Orendorff,  Miss  M.  E.  Hager,  Miss  M.  15.  Priest,  A. 
M.  Whitcomb  and  Miss  N.  S.  l^oring,  have  held  the  office  of 

The  present  mendjcrship  is  fifty-four.  The  organization 
liolds  its  meetings  at  the;  town  hall  the  second  and  fourth 
Friday  of  each  month  from  October  to  March  inclusive,  the 
remainder  of  the  year,  one  meeting  upon  the  second  Friday  of 
each  month. 

'I'he  oljjects  of  the  (Irange  are  to  educate  and  elevate  all 
those  who  become  members  of  it.  The  order  of  exei'cises  at 
the  meetings  consists  of  readings,  recitations,  essays,  music,  or 
discussions  u[)on  the  various  agricultural  subjects. 

farmer's  club. 

Boxborough  Farmer's  Club  was  organized  Ahir.  2,  1874,  at 
the  house  of  Mv.  E.  B.  Cobleigh,  b}^  the  following  choice  of 
officers  :  president,  E.   B.  (*obleigh;  vice-president,!).  W.  Cob- 

Farmer  s  Club. 


leigli :  secretary,  A.  W.  Wetlierbee  :  treasurer,  N,  E.  Whitcomb. 
These  officers  must  have  been  faithful  to  tlieir  duties,  for  they 
were  repeatedly  chosen  and  served  continuously  until  1881,  when 
a  new  board  was  elected.  At  first,  they  held  their  meetings 
once  a  week,  through  the  winter  season,  at  the  housese  of  the 
members  —  later,  once  in  two  weeks,  a  })art  of  the  time  at  the 
Town  Hall,  and  agricultural  <|uestions  of  interest  and 
importance  were  freel}'  and  helpfully  discussed.  Quite  a 
number  of  open  meetings  have  been  held  for  which  pleasant 
and  profitable  entertainments  have  been  prepared.  It  is  cus- 
tomary for  the  Club  to  have  a  biennial  fair  and  dinner,  at  the 
Town  Hall,  a  custom  originating  in  1874,  the  same  year  the 
organization  began  its  existence,  and  which  (the  first  fair 
having  been  pronounced  a  ^'- decided  success '")  has  been  kept 
alive  ever  since. 

The  CTiib  has  also  been  accustomed  to  give  an  annual  oyster 
supper  and  entertainment.  The  first  one  was  given  in  1876, 
the  second  year  of  its  organization. 

We  give  a  list  of  officers  during  the  seventeen  years  of  the 
Clul)"s  existence. 

E.  B.  Cobleigh, 
George  F.  Conant, 
J.  H.  Orendorff, 
J.  F.  Hay  ward, 

D.  W.  Cobleigh, 
S.  H.  Hoar, 


lo  years.  A.  Littlefield, 

I  year.  C.  T.  Wetherbee, 

I  year.  C.  H,  Burroughs, 
I  year. 


9  years.  N.  E.  Whitcomb, 

I  year. 
3  years. 
I  year. 

6  years. 
2  years. 

I  year.         G.  Veasie, 


A.  W.  Wetherbee,  17  years.  R.  T.  Cobleigh,  i  year. 


N.  E.  Whitcomb,  8  years.  E.  B.  Cobleigh,  2  years. 

D.  W.  Cobleigh,  5  years.         J.  H.  Orendorff,  2  years. 

Wm.  Moore,  i  year. 

There  are  sixty-live   names   on  the  mem1)ership   list  at  the 
present  time. 

74         Boxhoroiifih  :  a  Nero  Emiland  Town  and  its  People. 

ladies'  circle. 

The  Ladies'  Social  Circle,  an  important  accessory  in  the 
work  of  the  Congregational  Church,  was  organized  April  23, 
1842,  and  is  now,  therefore,  nearing  the  farther  shore  of  half  a 
century  of  benevolent  work.  The  first  meeting  —  at  which  a 
constitution  was  adopted  ^ — was  held  at  the  house  of  Rev.  J.  D. 
Farns worth.  The  following  articles  of  this  code  of  laws  may 
be  of  interest : 

Article  1.  This  Society  shall  be  called  the  Boxborough 
Female  Sewing  Circle. 

Article  2.  The  object  of  this  Society  shall  be  to  do  good 
by  raising  and  appropriating  funds  for  benevolent  purposes,  by 
the  avails  of  our  labors  and  industiy,  and  by  the  contribution  of 

Article  3.  Any  female  ma}^  become  a  member  of  this  Soci- 
ety by  paying  annually  the  sum  of  twenty-five  cents,  and  regu- 
larly attending  the  meetings.  Children  under  sixteen  years  of 
age  may  become  members  by  paying  annually  twelve  and  one- 
half  cents. 

The  society  organized  with  tliirteen  members,  whose  names 
are  hereby  given  :  Rebecca  M.  T.  Farnsworth,  Dolly  H.  Wright, 
Hannah  W.  Cobleigh,  Maria  Stevens,  Mary  Ann  Hayward, 
Susan  Hayward,  Harriet  A.  Hayward,  Anna  Hayward,  Sophia 
L.  Hayward,  Eliza  Ann  Hayward,  Sophia  Stevens,  Louisa  S. 
B.  Wetherbee,  and  Lucinda  Wetherbee. 

May  10,  1842,  the  Society  met  at  Mr.  Farnswortlrs  and 
elected  its  first  officers  ;  viz.,  Mrs.  R.  M.  T.  Farnsworth,  presi- 
dent;  Mrs.  H.  A.  Hayward,  vice-president;  Mrs.  H.  A.  Hay- 
ward, secretary ;  and  Miss  Mary  A.  Hayward,  treasurer. 

June  13,  1855,  the  name  of  the  organization  was  changed 
to  Boxborough  Social  Circle,  and  the  Society  reorganized  with 
thirty-nine  members,  the  names  of  eleven  gentlemen  appearing 
on  the  list  at  this  time.  At  this  meeting,  beside  other  changes. 
Article  2d  of  the  Constitution  was  revised  so  as  to  read :  ''  The 
object  of  this  Society  shall  be  to  raise  funds  to  repair  our  church," 

The  treasurer's  books  show  that  several  hundred  dollars  were 
contributed  toward  the  recent  repairs  upon  the  church,  that  the 

LadieH'  Circle.  75 

young  people  —  banded  into  a  society  among  themselves  —  gave 
the  pulpit  furniture,  and  items  of  substantial  pecuniary  aid 
mark  the  records  all- along  the  way,  especially  during  tlie  later 
years.  In  earlier  times  work  for  the  needy  ones  more  particu- 
larly filled  up  the  hours  of  the  Circle  afternoon,  and  during  the 
late  war,  much  was  done  to  assist  the  soldiers  by  the  ladies  of 
this  society,  but  now  that  work  on  this  line  is  less  called  for, 
their  energies  have  l)een  expended  in  raising  money  for  church 
expenses  and  church  work.  We  quote  the  following  from  the 
treasurer's  book  :  "April,  1884,  Paid  toward  minister's  salary, 
!|35.93  ;  1885,  8  dozen  chairs,  #18.00  ;  tin  roofing,  *16.50  ;  fuel 
for  church,  #12.84  ;  188G,  toward  note,  175.00  ;  1887,  plating 
knives  and  forks,  114.40;  coal,  114.27;  1888,  painting  parson- 
age, 150.00;  coal,  -114.07;  1889,  painting  church,  labor,  paint, 
brushes,  etc,  148.60  ;  1890,  lumber,  nails,  work,  etc.,  for  three 
sheds,  184.86."  These  items  are  interspersed  amid  numerous 
smaller  items,  showing  that  the  financial  assistance  rendered 
the  church  in  this  way  has  been  considerable.  The  credit  side 
of  the  account  shows  that  funds  for  these  purposes  were  raised 
from  suppers,  festivals,  entertainments,  membership  fees, 
work,  etc. 

"  In  Memoriam,"  by  Mrs.  C.  A.  Nelson,  under  date  of  1881 
of  the  secretary's  books,  will  show  something  of  the  character 
of  these  devoted  workers.  She  writes  :  "  Since  our  last  record 
was  made,  one  of  our  members  has  passed  from  earth  to  heaven. 
We  all  know  of  the  weary  days  and  nights  of  suffering  which 
foi'  many  long  weeks  has  been  the  lot  of  our  sister,  Mrs.  Cath- 
arine W.  Hayward.  Some  of  us  know  something  of  her  quiet 
resignation  and  patient  waiting  for  the  coming  of  her  Lord. 

"  Her  name  appears  upon  almost  the  first  page  of  this  book, 
and  occurs  with  much  frequency  all  through  its  record  of  forty 
years,  many  times  as  one  of  its  chief  directors.  Always  a  ready 
cheerful  worker,  delighting  in  any  service  for  God  and  His 
church,  we  turned  often  and  instinctively  to  her  to  lead  the 
way  in  all  good  and  wise  enterprises  which  our  Circle  wished 
to  undertake  for  the  church  or  the  poor  and  needy. 

76         Boxhorongli :  a  JVew  England  Town  and  its  People. 

"  During  the  months  that  we  were  working  to  accomplish  all 
we  might  in  the  way  of  raising  funds  for  the  furnishing  of  our 
repaired  church,  or  making  ready  the  carpet  purchased  for  it, 
Mrs,  Hayward  w^as  full  of  zeal  and  good  works,  and  their  per- 
fume seems  not  yet  to  have  departed  from  the  Sanctuary  which 
she  loved  and  labored  for. 

"  In  Septeml)er,  Mrs.  Joseph  K.  Blanchard,  for  nearly  forty 
years  a  member  of  this  Circle,  and  for  a  longer  time  of  the 
church,  passed  to  her  rest  after  very  brief  sickness,  a  true 
'  Mother  in  Israel,'  a  woman  of  faith  and  prayer,  and  beloved 
of  her  God.  'Blessed  are  the  dead  who  die  in  the  Lord.'  We 
trust,  though  at  times  we  hardly  see  it,  that  it  is  expedient  for 
us  that  they  are  gone  away,  if  only  we  will  not  hinder  the  Lord 
from  sanctifying  our  loss  to  all  our  souls ;  for  hearts  that  are 
never  bruised  and  sorrowful  feel  no  need  of  the  Comforter. 
'Wliom  the  Lord  loveth  He  chasteneth.'  " 

Again,  in  1888,  another  token  of  remembrance  is  recorded  : 
"  Since  our  last  meeting  one  of  our  band,  Mrs.  Stevens  Hay- 
ward,  has  left  us  and  gone  to  her  reward.  She  had  been  among 
us  over  forty-five  years,  and  usually  a  member  of  this  societ}^ 
We'shall  miss  seeing  her  face  at  these  gatherings.  She  was  one 
who  enjoyed  such  occasions,  although  her  health  was  such  that 
much  of  the  past  year  she  was  unable  to  be  present  with  us." 

The  records  all  the  way  along  speak  to  us  of  earnest 
endeavor  and  faithful  service  rendered  to  the  Master. 

The  following  names  are  recorded  as  officers  of  this  Society. 


Mrs.  R.  M.  T.  Farnsworth,  6  yrs.  Mrs.  I).  Mc  Clenning,       i  year. 

Mrs.  John  Wetherbee,  i  year. 
Mrs.  N.  Thompson,  2  years. 
Mrs.  M.  E.  Wood,  4  years. 

Mrs.  George  Dustan,  3  years. 
Mrs.  George  A.  Perkins,  4  years. 


Mrs.  B.  S.  Mead,  2  years. 

Mrs.  E.  W.  Hayward,  i  year. 
Mrs.  M.  E.  Wood,  8  years. 


R.  E.  G.  Luce, 

3  years. 


C.  W.  Hayward, 

5  years. 


A.  Jackson, 

I  year. 


J.  K.  Blanchard, 

I  year. 


S.  J.  Holbrook, 

I  year. 



H.  A.  Hayward, 

2  years. 


C.  W.  Hayward, 

6  years. 


S.  A.  Whitcomb, 

3  years. 

Missionary  Society  and  Y.  P.  S.  C.  E.  77 

Mrs.  M.  C.  Davis,  3  years.  Mrs.  N.  E.  Whitcomb,     6  years. 

Mrs.  M.  Stevens,  i  year.  Mrs.  C.  A.  Nelson,  i  j-ear. 

Mrs.  J.  Whitcomb,  i  year. 


Miss  Mary  A.  Hayward,  2  years.  Miss  Lucy  A.  Blancliard,  3  years. 

Miss  Lucinda  VVetherbee,    3yrs.  Mrs.  A.  W.  Wetherbee,      i  year. 

Miss  Susan  T.  Farnsworth,  i  yf.  Mrs.  Minnie  L.  Kingsbury,  7  yrs. 

Miss  Anna  Hayward,       5  years.  Miss  Mary  E.  Hager,      7  years. 

Miss  M.  M.  Wetherbee,    i  year.  Mrs.  Chas.  L.  Woodward,    1  yr. 
Miss  Maria  Whitcomb,      i  year. 


Mrs.  H.  A.  Hayward,        i  year.  Mrs.  Alice  Hayward,        i  year. 

Mrs.  L.  S.  B.  Wetherbee,  i  year.  Miss  C.  A.  Blanchard,     4  years. 

Miss  Mary  A.  Hayward,  8  years.  Mrs.  Chas.  L.  Woodward,  4 yrs. 

Mrs.  Mary  H.   Stevens,    i    year.  Miss  Mary  E.  Hager,      4  years. 

Miss  M.  M.  Wetherbee,     i  year.  Mrs.  E.  C.  Mead,  7  years. 

The  Society  liolds  its  meetings  the  first  Thursday  of  each 


A  missionary  society  of  fifteen  membere  was  formed  Dee.  1, 
1887,  which  holds  its  meetings  once  a  quarter  in  connection 
with  the  Circle.  Mrs.  (7.  A.  Perkins,  president,  and  Mrs.  S. 
B.  Hager,  secretary  and  treasurer,  have  continued  in  these 
positions  ever  since  the  organization  of  the  society.  Thouo-h 
the  numljer  of  members  is  small  a  goodly  sum  of  money  is 
appropriated  toward  the  cause  of  missions  each  year. 

Y.   p.   S.   C.   E. 

A  Young  People's  Society  of  Christian  Endeavor  was  also 
organized  three  or  four  years  ago  among  the  young  people  of 
the  church,  which  holds  its  meetings  Sunday  evenings  in  the 
vestry,  before  the  regular  prayer  meeting. 


The  following  is  a  copy  of  a  list  of  the  tax  payers  of  Box- 
borough  in  1789 : — 

Names.  •  Polls.        Real.      Personal. 

Dea.  Oliver  Mead,     .         .  .  .  i  297  28 

Ins.  Samuel  Wetherbee,    .  ,         .  i  300         22 

Boxhorough  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

Sam'l  Wetherbee,  Jr., 
Simeon  Wetherbee, 
Silas  Wetherbee, 
Isaac  Batchelor, 
Levi  Wetherbee, 
John  Surges, 
Henry  Coolledg, 
James  I).  Coolledg, 
Silas  Stone, 
Benjamin  Stevens, 
Capt.  Oliver  Taylor, 
Lt.  Solomon  Taylor, 
John  Taylor, 
Abel  Whitcomb, 
Lt.  James  Whitcomb, 
Eleazer  Stearns, 
David  Stearns, 
Jonathan  Stearns, 
Joseph  Meed, 
Jonathan  Croutch, 
Leonard  Whitcomb, 
Jonathan  Croutch,  Jr., 
Ens.  Timothy  Croutch, 
Lemuel  Sawyer, 
Oliver  Sawyer, 
Oliver  Sawyer,  Jr., 
Joseph  Sawyer, 
James  Robins, 
Jotham  Whitcomb, 
Ens.  Benjamin   Robins, 
Jacob  Robins, 
David  Croutch, 
Dea.  Phinehas  Farbank, 
Samuel  Meed, 
Capt.  Joseph  Farbank, 
Silas  Rand, 
Dea.  Amos  Farbank, 
John   Sawyer, 
Eliphelit  Wood, 

















1 12 




































Tax  Pi 




Polls.        Real. 


Isaiah  Whitney, 



John  Codman,  Esq., 


Lt.  Nathaniel  Longley, 


Jeremiah  Priest, 


Wid.  Mary  Priest, 



Joseph  Houghton, 



Joseph  Willard,  guardian. 


Oliver  Houghton, 




Samuel  Worster, 



Prince  Chester, 



Aaron  Whitney, 


John  Croutch, 




John  Croutch,  Jr., 



Allin  McLain, 



John  Lomas, 


Timothy  Shattuck, 




Wid.  Anna  Houghton,     . 



Wid.  Anna  Robins, 


Jacob  Warren,  Heirs, 


Thomas  Gates, 


Doct.  Daniel  Robins, 




John  Robins, 


Jeremiah  Priest, 


Richard  Goldsmith, 


Daniel  Robins, 


David  Dickerson, 


Sampson  Worster, 


Elias  Warner, 


Elijah  Priest, 


Yqy  1844,  —  lifty-tive   yeai> 

later,  —  the    Reside 

nt   list   is 

jis  follows  : — 

Total  Tax. 

Total  Tax. 

Simon  Blanchard,               $16.50 

Garret  J.  Bradt, 


Joseph  K.  Blanchard,            3.77 

Wm.  P.  Brigham 



John  Blanchard,                     4.64 

Barnard  Battles, 


Luther  Blanchard,                    .48 

Lyman  Bigelow's 

Heirs,      13.22 

Joseph  Blanchard,                     .50 

John  S.  Brooks, 


Joseph  Blanchard's  Heirs,   4.60 

Lucy  Chester, 

1. 17 

Marshall  Blanchard,              1.7  i 


ce  J.  Chester, 


80         Boxhorough  :  a 

New  Etifihind  Town  and  iU  People. 

Total  Tax. 

Total  Tax. 

Jas.  S.  Chester, 


Benj.  W.  Priest, 


George  T.  Chester, 


Jerome  Priest, 


Daniel  Cobleigh, 


Dio   0.  Page, 


John  Cobleigh, 


Nathan  Patch, 


Jonathan  Crouch, 


Benj.  H.  Patch, 


Daniel  McCarthy, 


Jona  \V.  Patch, 

I. II 

Wm.  Davis, 


Isaac  Patch, 


Benjamin  Draper, 


Liberty  C.  Raymond, 


Leander  G.  Dustan, 


Samuel  Sargent, 


Wm.  H.  Emmons, 


Samuel  Sargent,  Jr., 


John  Fletcher, 


William  Stevens, 


James  D.  Farnsworth, 


Oliver  W.  Stevens, 


Lewis  H.  Graham, 


Levi  W.  Stevens, 


James  C.  Graham, 


James  Stevens, 


James  Hayward, 


George  A.  Stevens, 


Stevens  Hayward, 


Jasper  Stone, 


Stevens  Hayward,  2d, 


Henry  Smith, 


Ebeneazer  Hayward, 


Varnum  Taylor, 


Albert  Hayward, 


Samuel  Hill  Taylor, 


Samuel  Hayward, 


Geo.  B.  Talbot, 


Joseph  Hayward, 


John  Wetherbee, 


Martin  Hayward, 


John  Wetherbee,  Jr., 


Arnold  Hayward, 


John  Wetherbee,  2d, 


Paul  Hayward's  Heirs, 


John  R.  Wetherbee, 


Solomon  Hager, 


Oliver  Wetherbee, 


George  Hager, 


Simeon  Wetherbee, 


John  Hoar, 


Emory  Wetherbee, 


Cephas  Hartwell, 


Samuel  Wetherbee, 


Phinehas  W.  Houghtor 

1,       3.10 

Silas  Wetherbee's  Heirs, 


Tower  Hazard, 


Moses  Whitcomb, 


Stillman  Jewett, 


Moses  Whitcomb,  Jr., 


Edmund  Lawrence, 


Daniel  \^'hitcomb, 


Lankford  Lawrence, 


Ephraim  Whitcomb, 


Henry  G.  Lewis, 


Ephraim  Whitcomb,  Jr., 


James  Mace, 


Joel  Whitcomb, 


Oliver  Mead, 


Joab  Whitcomb, 


Samuel  Mead, 


Peter  Whitcomb, 


Nathaniel  Mead, 


Peter  Whitcomb,  Jr., 


Sampson  Moore, 

1. 01 

Granville  Whitcomb, 


Benjamin  Priest, 


Merrill  Whitcomb, 

.      .62 

Tax  Payers,  1889. 


Wid.  Sally  Whitcomb, 


Jacob  Littlefield, 


J.  Lyman  Whitcomb, 


Oliver  W.  \\'hitcomb. 


Peter  Wheeler, 


Hiram  Davidson, 


Joel  Wright, 


Wid.  Lucy  Hayward, 


Joel  E.  Wright, 


William  Withington, 


Carshena  Wood, 


Abel  Howe, 


John  H.  Wood, 


William  \Mlliston. 


Joshua  R.  Russell, 


For  1889,  one  hundred  year 
luive  the  following  names  from 

E.  B.  Cobleigh. 
Wm.  Moore. 
Jerome  Priest. 
Andrew  Crouch. 
Morris  Griffin. 
Ed.  Griffin. 
John  Griffin. 
John  Sherry. 
N.  E.  Whitcomb. 
Chas.  Brown. 
Oliver  Mead. 
Emery  Mead. 
Walter  Mead. 
Oliver  Stevens. 
Philip  Cunningham. 
Newell  Chester. 
Mrs.  Mary  Willis. 
James  S.  Chester. 
Giles  S.  Chester. 
Simeon  Wetherbee. 
Stevens  Hayward. 
Amasa  A.  Richardson. 
Lewis  W.  Richardson. 
J.  W.  Hayward. 
Dea.  M.  E.  Wood. 
Mrs.  E.  A.  Hayward. 
M.  Coffey. 
John  Coffey. 
John  McGrath. 

s  later  than  the  first  record,  we 
the  assessor's  books  : 

Wm.  Withington. 
James  S.  Braman. 
S.  N.  Wetherbee. 
Uria  Stone. 
J.  H.  Whitcomb. 
E.  C.  Mead. 

C.  H.   Blanchard. 
R.  Y.  Nelson. 

J.  B.  Loscow. 
J.  B.  Perkins. 
Albert  Perkins. 
A.  Littlefield. 
George  Blanchard. 
John  Blanchard. 
Simon  Hartwell. 
Jerome  Whitney. 
Granville  Whitcomb. 
W.  White. 
.Vlvin  Parker. 
O.  Ewings. 
J.  S.  Wright. 
W.  H.  Gooch. 
Ephraim  Cobleigh. 
Nelson  Cobleigh. 
A.  W.  Campbell. 
Geo.  F.  Keyes. 
Chas.  H.  Veasie. 
Veasie  Heirs. 

D.  W.  Cobleigh. 


Boxhorough :  a  New  Enfiland  Toivn  and  its  People. 

C.  H.  Burroughs. 
J.  R.  Hayden. 
Peter  Whitcomb. 
George  A.  Perkins. 
Steele  Brothers. 
Mrs.  E.  L.  Battles. 
John  Bezanson. 
George  W.  Burroughs. 
George  Brown. 
W.  H.  Brown. 
George  W.  Barnard. 
Stanley  A.  Barton. 
Mrs.  Ann  Cobleigh. 
Harriet  Cobleigh. 
A.  J.  Chester. 
Thomas  Connors. 
Chas.  Cameron. 
James  Croft. 
Mrs.  R.  J.  Ewings. 
Jerry  Griffin. 
Mary  Griffin. 
Michael  Griffin. 
John  Gooch. 
Charles  H.  Griffin. 
J.  Q.  Hayward. 
W.  J.  Hayden. 
Charles  Myers. 
Arthur  McGinis. 
Alex.  MacDonald. 
Miss  Sarah  Hager. 
Mrs.  E.  B.  Hager. 
Edward  Wetherbee. 
C.  T.  Wetherbee. 
Silas  Hoar. 
J.  H.  Orendorff. 

Mrs.  D.  W.  Cobleigh. 
J.  A.  Walker. 
J.  F.  Hayward. 
B.  S.  Mead. 
B.  S.   Hager. 
W.  A.   Perkins. 
James  Profit. 
Thomas  Redwood. 
George  W.  Stone. 
Mrs.  J.  E.  Shufelt. 
T.  C.  Steele 
John  Tracy. 
A.  W.  Wetherbee. 
Daniel  Whitcomb. 
Betsey  Whitcomb. 
Whitcomb  and  Hager. 
Arthur  H.  Wetherbee. 
Caroline  B.  Wetherbee. 
Betsey  Walker. 
Andrew  M.  Walker. 
E.  W.  Whitney. 
E.  C.  Society. 
Chas.  Williston. 

D.  W.  Cobleigh,  Veasie  Prop'ty. 
Peter  Whitcomb,  Adm. 
Burpee  Steele. 

Church  Steele. 

J.  Littlefield  Estate. 

E.  L.  Woodward. 
S.  B.  Hager. 

W.  H.  Furbush. 
S.  P.  Dodge. 
R.  T.  Cobleigh. 
John  R.  Cobleigh. 


From  the  State  Census  for  1885,  we  quote  the  follow 
items : 



Unmarried  men  from  19  to  80  years  of  age 
Married  men  from  19  to  80  years  of  age 
Boys  19  years  of  age  or  under 
Men  80  years  of  age  and  above 
Females  unmarried,  19  to  80  years  of  age 
Females  married,  19  to  80  years  of  age 
Girls  19  years  of  age  or  under 

Women  80  years  of  age 


xnd  above 


Number  of  A^oters 

Number  of  Families  (average  size  4.14) 
Number  of  Dwelling-Houses 
Farmers  ..... 

Farm  Laborers        .... 
House  Wives  .... 

Paupers  ..... 










Butter  (sale  and  use),  7,796  lbs.  value 

Milk,  249,  974  gals,  value 

Cream,  233  gals,  value 

Canned  fruit  (use)  4,  677   lbs.    va 

Eggs,  12,203  <i<^2-  value 

Poultry  dressed,  2,680  lbs.  value 

Firewood  (sale  and  use)    563  1-2  cords,  value 

Lumber,  269  M  ft.  value 

Indian  Corn,  2,815  bu.  value 

Fruits,  Berries,  Nuts,  total  value    , 

Hay,  Straw,  and  Fodder,  total  value 

Beef,  Pork  and  Veal,  total  value 

Vegetables,  total  value 

All  other  products 

Total       .... 

$  2,207.00 















84        Boxhorongh  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 


Boxboroiigh  is  decidedly  a  temperance  town,  having  voted 
"  No  License  "  ever  since  the  Local  Option  Law  has  been  in  force. 


Sixty  years  ago  or  more,  the  town  bought  the  small  place 
where  Mr.  Edward  Wetherbee  now  lives,  for  the  use  of  its  poor, 
Mr.  Abel  Davis  and  wife,  an  aged  couple  who  were  able  to  per- 
form the  daily  work  of  the  farm  and  household,  but  were 
deficient  in  this  world's  goods.  They  remained  here  several 
years  until  the  death  of  Mr.  Davis,  who  accidentally  fell  from 
an  apple-tree  and  was  found  with  his  neck  broken.  The  town 
soon  disposed  of  the  farm,  and  since  that  time  the  indigent  ones 
have  been  cared  for  in  private  families,  wherever  it  could  be 
done  the  most  reasonabl}",  the  town  paying  the  expense. 





In  this  age,  when  not  only  the  history  of  towns,  but  family 
history,  is  of  such  wide-spread  and  enduring  interest,  a  short 
sketch  of  some  of  the  older  residents  may  not  be  out  of  place. 
We  notice,  in  the  early  records  of  the  town,  the  names  of 
Cobleigh,  Wetherbee,  Taylor,  jNIead,  Whitcomb,  Haj^ward, 
Blanchard,  Hager,  Stevens,  Chester,  Wood,  Patch  and  Hoar, 
whose  desendants  are  still  Avith  us ;  while  others,  as  Bigelow, 
Hazzard,  Stone  and  Conant,  although  none  of  these  now 
remain,  are  of  equal  interest. 


[From  Genealogy  of  the  Bigelow  Family.] 

Lyman  Bigelow  of  Boxborough,  Mass.,  son  of  Gershom  and 
Mary  (Howe)  Bigelow,  was  born  in  Marlborough,  April  25, 
1795  ;  married,  April  15,  1819,  Jane  Brigham,  daughter  of 
Jedediah  and  Lydia  (Boyd)  Brigham,  born  in  Marlborough, 
April  23,  1798. 

They  moved  to  Boxborough,  where  he  engaged  in  the  mer- 
cantile business  and  quickly  became  a  leading  citizen  in  town  ; 
was  selectman  for  many  years,  represented  the  town  in  the 
(ieneral  Court  and  served  in  many  other  town  offices ;  was 
postmaster  for  a  long  time,  and  died  in  Boxborough,  March  13, 
1842.  His  widow  survived  him  over  forty  years,  and  died  in 
Norwood,  Mass.,  January  26,  1886. 

86         Boxhorough :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

■  Their  children  were  :  Jane  E.,  born  Feb.  5,  1820  ;  died 
at  Norwood,  Mass.,  Feb.  13,  1888  ;  married  twice,  first  to  James 
Brown,  second  to  Hon.  Jos.  Day. 

Mary  Louise,  born  Dec.  15,  1821  ;  died  at  Norwood,  Mass., 
March  29,  1888;  married  Rev.  Josiah  W.  Talbot. 

Augusta  B.,  born  Sept.  10,  1823  ;  died,  Sept.  1,  1852  ; 
married  George  B.  Talbot. 

Caroline,  born  Oct.  29,  1825;  died,  Jan.  29,  1851  ;  married 
Cephas  Hoar. 

Lyman  Waldo,  born  March  7,  1828  ;  died  Dec.  6,  1886  ; 
married  Catherine  B.  Howard. 

Lindolf  Willis,  born  August  16,  1836  ;    died  Sept.  7,  1856. 

Lyman  Waldo  Bigelow  obtained  his  education  in  the 
district  schools  of  Boxborough  and  at  the  Lawrence  Academy 
in  Groton ;  at  the  completion  of  his  studies  he  engaged  in 
business  in  his  native  town.  In  the  spring  of  1853,  he 
removed  to  So.  Dedliam  (now  Norwood)  and  engaged  in  the 
business  of  a  general  country  store.  By  sound  business 
principles  and  the  most  unswerving  honesty  and  integrity  he 
built  up  a  large  and  prosperous  business,  which  at  the  present 
time  is  carried  on  by  his  two  oldest  sons. 

In  1872,  when  that  part  of  Dedham  was  set  off  and  incor- 
porated as  the  town  of  Norwood,  he  was  chosen  its  first 
treasurer,  which  office  he  held  up  to  the  time  of  his  death,  Dec. 
6,  1886.  He  was  deeply  interested  in  the  welfare  of  the 
Universalist  Church  of  which  he  was  a  member.  The  cause  of 
temperance,  as  well  as  all  other  movements  tending  to  improve 
and  help  society,  found  in  him  a  staunch  and  willing  supporter, 
both  by  his  influence  and  mesins.  He  was  thoroughly  conscien- 
tious in  all  of  his  acts,  which,  together  with  his  strict  integrity 
and  courteous  manners,  gained  for  him  the  highest  respect  from 
all  classes  in  the  community  where  he  so  long  resided. 


Thomas  Blanchard,  and  his  son  George,  born  1616,  came 
from  near  Andover,  England,  in  the  year  1639,  on  the  ship 
"  Jonathan,"  and  settled  in  Charlestown,  (now  Maiden)  Mass. 



Blanchard  Family.  87 

Joseph,  son  of  George  Blanchard,  born  1654,  married  Hannah 
Shepal-d.  Joseph,  son  of  Joseph  and  Hannah  (Shepard) 
Blanchard,  born  May  7,  1686,  married  Elizabeth  Whittemore 
and  in  1717,  or  1718,  moved  from  Charlestown  "through the 
Indian  paths  "  to  Littleton,  —  that  part  of  Littleton  which  is  now 
Boxborough,  —  and  settled  on  the  place  now  occupied  b}' 
Albert  Littlefield.  They  had  two  children,  Jemima,  born  Dec. 
21,  1721,  and  Simon,  born  Oct.  6,  1728.  Jemima  was  un- 
married  and  died   in    1790,    aged   sixty-nine    j^ears.       Simon 

married   Sarah  ,   and    they  were  the   parents    of   four 

children,  among  whom  were  Calvin,  born  Feb.  27,  1754,  and 
Luther,  born  June  4,  1756,  the  brothers  whose  names  have 
become  familiar  to  us  through  their  participation  in  the  fight  at 
the  old  North  Bridge,  Concord,  in  1775.  Calvin  married 
Abigail  Reed  of  Westford.  The  foregoing  information  with 
regard  to  this  branch  of  the  early  Blanchards  was  obtained 
from  Mr.  George  D.  Blanchard,  of  Maiden,  Mass.,  who  has 
been  engaged  for  several  years  in  collecting  genealogical 
records  of  the  Blanchard  family. 

Calvin  and  Abigail  (Reed)  Blanchard  w^ere  the  parents  of 
nine  children,  Abigail,  Calvin,  Luther,  Simon,  Jemima,  who 
died  in  infancy,  Joseph,  Lucy,  John  and  Susannah.  Abigail 
married  Reuben  Hartwell,  of  Shirley;  Calvin  married  (1) 
Hannah  Hoar,  (2)  Nancy  Warren,  both  of  Littleton.  Calvin 
and  Hannah  (Hoar)  Blanchard  had  five  children  of  whom  two 
died  in  infancy.  Jemima,  their  oldest  child,  married  Mr. 
Parker,  the  father  of  James  A.  Parker  of  Littleton.  Luther 
Blanchard  (1782-1861)  was  unmarried  and  resided  with  his 
brother  John  at  the  old  homestead  until  his  death  at  the  age  of 


Simon  Blanchard,  the  third  son  of  Calvin  and  Abigail 
(Reed)  Blanchard,  was  born  in  Boxborough,  Apr.  3,  1784. 
His  father  having  been  killed  by  a  falling  tree  when  Simon 
was  only  fifteen  years  of  age,  and  the  eldest  son  Calvin  —  as 
was  the  custom  in  those  days  in  our  own  land,  and  as  it  is  still 

88        Boxhorough :  a  New  Enyland  Town  and  its  People. 

in  Europe,  —  having  taken  possession  of  the  ancestral  home- 
stead and  most  of  the  property,  Simon  was  thenceforth  thrown 
upon  his  own  resources.  He  first  went  to  Littleton,  where  he 
learned  the  cooper's  trade  of  Joseph  Fletcher,  grandfather  of 
Mrs.  Geo.  W.  Sanderson,  who  lived  at  that  time  on  what  is 
now  the  Tenney  place  at  the  centre.  He  remained  there  work- 
ing at  his  trade  for  seven  years,  until  his  marriage  to  Martha 
Shattuck  (1788-1812)  who  was  a  descendant  of  Kev.  Benj. 
Shattuck,  the  first  minister  of  Littleton.  They  were  married 
in  the  house  now  occupied  by  Mr.  G.  W.  Sanderson,  in  the 
same  room  where  a  grandson,  Arthur  F.  Blanchard,  and  Miss 
Charlotte  T.  Sanderson  were  united  in  marriage,  Jan.  28,  1891. 
Returning  to  Boxhorough,  Mr.  Blanchard  settled  upon  the 
farm  where  his  grandson,  Herbert  Blanchard,  now  lives. 
Here  he  continued  to  work  at  his  trade  while  carrying  on  a 
small  farm.  Early  going  into  hop-raising,  a  business  then  in 
its  infancy  but  soon  after  extensively  engaged  in  by  many 
farmers  and  towns,  he  continued  in  the  business  until  the  total 
amount  of  his  yearly  productions  in  that  line  exceeded  that  of 
any  hop-grower  in  New  England.  Every  farmer  in  town 
cultivated  them,  and  Boxborough  was  probably  at  that  time 
the  largest  hop-growing  town  of  its  size  in  New  England.  In 
the  meantime  ]Mr.  Blanchard  had  worked  into  dairying  and 
fruit-raising  to  some  extent,  being  prospered  in  whatever 
direction  he  lent  his  energies.  He  was  a  successful  farmer, 
having  by  his  industry  and  perseverance  accumulated  a 
property  of  some  't70,000  at  a  time  when  a  man  would  be  as 
rich  with  |5,000  as  he  would  today  with  $20,000.  He  added 
to  his  farm  from  time  to  time  until  it  extended  over  four  hun- 
dred acres  and  into  Acton,  perhaps  the  largest  farm  in  the 
county.     He  erected  the  present  buildings  in  1833. 

Simon  Blanchard  and  Martha  Shattuck,  his  wife,  were  the 
parents  of  two  children,  Simon  and  Martha. 


Simon  Blanchard,  son  of  Simon  and  Martha,  was  born  in 
Boxborough,  Jan.  29,  1808.     Apr.  23,  1839,  he  married  Eliz- 


(3  -ryr^i^L^aTa^  09-c^^^-^-^c^ 


The  Blanchard  Family.  89 

abeth  Dix  Fletcher,  diiughter  of  Jonathan  Fletcher,  and  their 
three  children  are  as  follows :  William,  born  Apr.  3,  1840, 
married  Nettie  M.  Stacy,  of  Stoddard,  who,  after  his  death,  Feb. 
15,  1877,  with  her  two  children,  Arthur  W.,  and  Gracie  M., 
returned  to  her  former  home  ;  Ellen  Ann,  born  Sept.  13,  1851, 
married  Calvin  N.  Holbrook,  Jan.  1,  1873,  —  they  buried  one 
little  girl  in  cliildhood  and  with  their  three  boys  reside  in 
Littleton; — Elizabeth  Fletcher,  born  Oct.  31,1856,  married 
Amasa  Knowlton  of  Acton,  and  they,  with  their  three  children, 
reside  in  that  place.  Simon  Blanchard,  Apr.  15,  1877, 
married  Susan  Wheeler,  daughter  of  .Vbner  Wheeler,  for  his 
second  wife. 

Mr.  Blanchard  resides  in  the  northwest  part  of  the  town  of 
Acton,  on  the  road  from  West  Acton  to  Littleton,  in  a  pleasant, 
substantial  farm-house,  where  lie  has  lived  for  more  than  half 
a  century.  For  the  past  few  years  the  infirmities  of  age  have 
somewhat  gained  upon  him,  but  he  is  still  interested,  as  was  ever 
his  wont,  in  all  that  concerns  the  town,  state,  or  national  wel- 
fare. He  never  sought  public  positions,  but  has  pressed  forward  in 
the  footsteps  of  his  father,  and  by  steady  industry  and  persever- 
ing labor  throughout  his  early  and  later  days  has  acquired  for 
himself  a  competence.  Tliough  deprived  of  the  privilege  of 
going  out  among  his  relatives  and  friends  as  freely  as  in  former 
years,  he  yet  enjoys  their  company,  and  the  hearty  handclasp, 
genial  smile  and  pleasant  word  await  all  who  call  upon  him  for 
a  friendly  chat. 

Martha  Blanchard  (1810-1891)  married  Samuel  Sawin  of 
Stow,  Apr.  3,  1834,  and  of  their  five  children,  one  died  in 
infancy ;  Samuel  Dexter,  married  Caroline  Elizabeth  Simons, 
and  their  only  child,  Charles  Dexter,  is  a  physician  of  note 
in  Charlestown ;  John  Travis,  married  Sarah  Whitney  Sawyer, 
of  Bolton,  and  they  had  four  children  of  whom  two  are 
living ;  Martha  Maria,  married  Marcus  Morton  Raymond,  of 
Boxborough.  and  of  their  three  daughters,  one,  Nellie  Morton, 
died  young,  and  the  other  two,  Carrie, —  married  Alonzo  B. 
Cushing,  June  18,  1890,  —  and  Ella,  reside  in  Somerville, 
the  present  residence  of   their   father,  and    the    place    where 

90         Boxhorovgh :  a  New  Eiu/land  Town  mid  its  People. 

their  mother  died ;  Simon  lilanchard  Sawiii  died  at  the  age  of 

Samuel  Sawin,  the  father,  died  Mar.15,  1875,  and  is  buried 
in  Stow,  where  a  few  montlis  ago  his  widow  was  also  laid. 
Samuel  Dexter  died  in  Boston  in  1890. 

October  27, 1814,  Simon  Blanchard,  the  elder,  married  Mary 
Keyes,  daughter  of  Joseph  and  Sarah  (Boyden)  Keyes,  of 
AVestford,  and  sister  of  Hon.  John  Keyes  of  Concord,  for  his 
second  wife.  Before  her  marriage,  while  a  resident  of  her 
father's  home,  she  wove  cotton  cloth  for  some  years  for  the  Paw- 
tucket  Falls  (now  Lowell)  factories,  the  yarn  being  sent  her  for 
that  purpose.  She  also  hatcheled,  spun  and  wove  flax  for  home 
use.  She  kept  her  spinning-wheel  and  loom,  and  after  her  mar- 
riage, spun  and  wove  both  cotton  and  woolen  cloth  for  her  large 
family.  The  flax  and  wool  were  raised  upon  the  farm,  and  all 
of  the  work  was  done  by  hand.  She  also  wove  woolen  blankets, 
towelling,  and  a  better  quality  of  f rocking  than  could  be 
bought  at  the  dry-goods  counter.  She  was  a  busy  worker,  and 
spun  and  wove  a  great  deal,  especially  winters,  making  a 
business  of  it,  and  often  kept  her  place  at  the  loom  long  after 
the  rest  of  the  family  had  retired.  She  used  her  spinning- 
wheel  'as  long  as  she  lived,  but  gave  up  weaving  sometime 
})revious  to  her  death.  The  dairy  business  also  kept  the  house- 
wife busy,  and  INIrs.  lUanchard  often  made  one  hundred  pounds 
of  butter  a  week,  and  always  a  large  amount. 

Simon  and  Mary  (Keyes)  Blanchard,  were  the  parents  of 
nine  children,  Calvin,  who  died  when  Ave  years  of  age,  Joseph 
K.,  Sarah,  Mary  Ann,  Luke,  Elizabeth,  Caroline,  John,  and 
one  little  girl  who  died  when  two  weeks  old.  Joseph  K., 
(1815-1888)  married  Mary  Culver,  of  Boston,  Apr.  7,  1840, 
and  they  had  eight  children :  Mary  Eliza,  Phoebe  Ann,  and 
Joseph  Hermon,  who  died  in  childhood,  Emily  Frances,  Caro- 
line Augusta,  Calvin  Herbert,  and  Willard  and  Warren,  twins. 
Emily  Frances  married  Ephraim  Raymond  and  resides  in 
Somerville.  They  have  buried  one  child  and  have  six  living. 
The  two  oldest  children  are  married.  Augusta  Raymond 
UKii-ried    William     H.    Furbush,    and     they,    with    their  four 


•  ■^■ 

^  ii^i^^p 


m      .^m 




Leonard    ChcmdJer.  91 

children,  Joseph,  Edith,  Ralph  and  Gertrude,  are  settled  on 
the  old  Phinehas  Wetherbee  place.  The  next  daughter, 
Hattie,  married  Ernest  Bezanson,  and  resides  in  Charlestown. 
Caroline  Augusta  Blanchard  married  Richard  Y.  Nelson,  and 
resides  in  town.  The}^  have  buried  one  little  daughter,  Alice, 
and  have  three  children  living,  Mary,  Am}-  and  Arthur.  Cal- 
vin Herbert  married  Sarah  Lauder,  and  is  settled  on  the  old 
place  where  his  father  and  grandfather  lived  before  him. 
They  have  l)uried  one  child  and  have  four  living,  Hermon, 
Carl,  Clayton  and  Fann3\  Willard  Blanchard  married  Jennie 
Furbush  of  Maine,  and  they  had  three  children,  of  whom  one 
died  in  infancy.  Mr.  Blanchard  died  about  ten  years  ago,  and 
Jennie,  his  wife,  about  four  years  ago.  Warren  Blanchard 
married  Nellie  A\"ebber,  and  of  their  five  children  only  three 
are  living.  They  reside  in  Southborough.  Joseph  K. 
Blanchard  has  been  interested  in  both  the  church  and  the  town. 
He  served  as  Superintending  School  Committee,  selectman, 
assessor  and  auditor  for  several  years,  and  was  an  earnest  and 
efficient  member  of  the  Congregational  church  for  over  fifty 
years.  He  died  in  1888,  aged  sevent3--three.  His  wife  Mary 
(Culver)  Blanchard  died  about  ten  3-ears  ago. 

Sarah  Blanchard,  born  Apr.  10,  1820,  married  Leonard 
Chandler,  of  Princeton,  Oct.  12,  1842. 


He  was  a  descendant  of  William  (l)orn  iji  1598)  and  Annie 
Chandler,  who  came  to  Roxbury,  Mass.  in  1637.  William,  son 
of  William  and  Annie,  married  Bridget  Hindi  man  and  lived  in 
Andover,  Mass.  Joseph,  son  of  William  and  Bridget,  married 
Mehitable  Russell  of  Andover.  John,  son  of  Joseph  and 
Mehitable,  married  Hannah  Phelps  of  Andover.  John,  son  of 
John  and  Hannah,  born  July  18,  1750,  married  Katy  Holman 
of  Lancaster,  afterwards  Mary  Jackson,  of  Westminster. 
Ephraim,  born  June  9,  1783,  son  of  John  and  Mar}-,  (Jackson), 
married  Mary  Powers.  Leonard,  son  of  Ephraim  and  Mary 
(Powesr),  born  ^Iir.  3,  1817,  married  Sarah  Blanchard  as 

92        Boxhorough  :  a  Netv  England  Town  and  its  People. 

Leonard  and  Sarah  (Blanchard)  Chandler,  were  the  parents 
of  six  children:  Sarah  Frances,  born  Sept.  20,  1843,  married 
Henry  Hobbs  of  Princeton;  Ella  Jane,  born  Nov.  21,  1846, 
resides  in  Cambridge;  Martha  Caroline,  born  June  7,  1849, 
died  Apr.  9,  1865.  Leonard  Blanchard,  born  Aug.  29,  1851, 
married  Hattie  Stewart,  and  they,  with  their  three  children, 
reside  in  So'merville ;  John,  born  Apr.  16,  1853,  is  unmarried 
and  remains  on  the  home  farm  ;  Willard  Smith,  born  Jan.  16, 
1862,  died  Apr.  13,  1865.  The  children  were  all  born  in 
Princeton,  and  Martha  C.  and  Willard  S.  died  there. 

Leonard  Chandler  was  born  and  lived  until  twenty-one 
3^ears  of  age  on  the  farm  where  his  father  and  grandfather 
lived  and  died.  On  coming  of  age,  he  went  to  East  Princeton 
and  learned  the  chair  trade,  at  which  he  worked  until  his 
marriage.  He  then  bought  the  farm  which  he  owned  at  the 
time  of  his  death,  adjoining  the  old  Chandler  place  where  he 
was  born.  When  he  bought  the  farm,  there  were  no  fruit 
trees  and  he  could  keep  but  two  cows  and  a  horse.  At  the 
time  of  his  death  he  had  from  fifty-five  to  sixty  head  of  cattle, 
and  fruits  of  all  kinds  were  produced  abundantly.  It  is  one  of 
the  best  farms  in  Princeton  at  the  present  time. 

Mr.  Chandler  was  always  a  resident  of  Princeton  Avith  tlie 
exception  of  years  1857  and  '58  when  he  lived  in  Boxborough. 
He  served  his  town  as  one  of  the  overseers  of  the  j)oor  for  a 
great  many  years,  was  one  of  the  assessors,  and  filled  other 
town  ofiices.     He  was  postmaster  for  four  years. 

Mary  Ann  Blanchard,  born  July  27,  1822,  married  James 
Fisher  Sawin,  Nov.  28,  1844,  and  lives  in  Natick.  Only  four 
of  their  eight  children  are  living ;  Simon  Blanchard,  Phares  N., 
Martha  and  Lizzie  Ida.  Simon  Blanchard  Sawin  married 
Alice  Leland  of  Sherburne,  and  the}'  have  four  children. 
Phares,  Martha  and  Ida,  remain  at  home. 


Luke  Blanchard,  third  son  of  Simon  and  Mary  (Keyes) 
Blanchard  was  born  in  Boxborough,  Jan.  17,  1826.  Simon 
Blanchard,    the   father,   taught  his   children  how  to  work,  and 

pc^^vdyk/  S^^C^i^r'^c.J^^^iy^-^^ 

Liilce  Blanchard.  93 

this  son  was  no  exception  to  the  rule.  After  he  was  seven 
yeai-s  of  age,  he  attended  school  only  in  the  winter,  being  out 
two  weeks  of  the  short  term  of  ten  or  twelve  weeks  annuall}- 
for  the  purpose  of  driving  the  ox-team  which  drew  the  hop 
poles  for  the  next  seasons  use.  His  only  holidays  were  fourth 
of  July  and  one  half  day  at  election.  There  were  many  things 
which  even  a  child  could  do  on  a  farm,  such  as  riding  horse, 
driving  oxen,  stripping  and  shaving  hop  poles,  working  in  the 
hay-field,  loading  hay,  etc.,  and  carrying  the  hop  pickers  back  and 
forth,  many  of  whom  came  from  Westford.  Mrs.  Cynthia  (Reed) 
Sargent,  a  niece  of  Abigail  (Reed)  Blanchard,  who  now  lives 
in  the  finest  residence  in  Graniteville,  was  one  of  those  same 
hop  pickers,  and  Mr.  Blanchard  often  carried  her  to  and  from 
her  home  in  Westford.  Notwithstanding  the  Avork,  the  bo3's 
and  girls  had  merry  times  in  those  old  hop-picking  days.  The 
large  charcoal  kilns,  for  drying  the  hops,  were  tended  at  night 
by  one  or  two  of  the  men,  and  liere  the  young  folks  ^vould 
gather  in  the  evenings  for  the  [)urpose  of  roasting  corn,  — 
common  field  corn  as  sweet  corn  was  tlien  unknown,  —  and 
enjoying  themselves  after  their  day's  work;  retiring  at  the 
evening's  close,  the  girls  to  the  house,  the  boj's  to  the  barn,  for 
so  they  were  accomodated,  to  prepare  themselves  b}^  needed 
rest  for  the  coming  day's  labor. 

When  eleven  years  of  age,  during  the  fall  season,  he  began 
driving  an  ox  team  to  Boston,  loaded  with  heavy  farm  products, 
cider,  hay,  hops,  i)otatoes  etc.,  while  his  brother  Josepli,  with  a 
one  horse  wagon,  teamed  butter,  cheese  and  eggs  to  the  same 
market.  The  elder  brother  disposed  of  the  younger  brother's 
load,  but  Luke  was  left  behind  at  West  Acton,  and  did  not  see 
Joseph  again  until  he  arrived  in  the  city.  He  walked  ever}- 
step  of  the  way  making  inquiry  wdien  necessary  as  to  the  route. 
One  of  his  experiences  clearly  shows  that  it  was  no  easy  work 
for  an  eleven  year  old  boy.  One  day  as  he  was  returning 
from  his  Boston  trip,  lie  was  overtaken  b}^  a  cold  northeast 
storm.  It  l)egan  raining  at  noon,  and  he  drove  his  team 
through  the  storm  until  midnight.  He  was  thinly  clad  as  w^as 
the  custom  with  the  farmer  lads,  and  Avas  completely  chilled 

94        Boxhorough  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

through,  long  before  arriving  at  West  Acton.  Here  he 
obtained  an  extra  wrap  from  relatives,  and  with  this  added 
protection,  pushed  forward  to  his  father's  home.  At  the  age 
of  fifteen  the  ox  team  was  enchanged  for  a  two-horse  wagon, 
and  a  year  later,  his  brother  Joseph  having  married,  Luke  took 
his  place  and  ran  the  team  for  his  father  until  twenty-one  years 
of  age,  although  the  heavy  produce  of  the  farm  was  sent  on 
cars  after  the  Fitchburg  Railroad  went  into  operation  in  1845. 
When  he  was  twenty,  he  attended  school  at  Nashua,  N.  H., 
one  term.  After  becoming  of  age,  having  the  commission 
business  learned,  but  without  capital,  for  his  earnings  previously 
had  been  turned  over  to  his  father,  he  continued  the 
business,  —  which  steadily  increased  although  competion  was 
sharp  and  lively,  —  over  the  railroad. 

He  is,  if  not  the  largest,  one  of  the  largest  exporters  of 
apples  of  any  single  individual  in  Boston.  He  commenced 
shipping  among  the  earliest  and  has  always  followed  it.  He 
owns  a  refrigerator  at  West  Littleton  and  thus  has  facilities 
for  storage. 

Mr.  Blan chard  is  an  extensive  real  estate  owner  in  Middle- 
sex and  Worcester  counties.  He  also  owns  a  large  tract  in 
New  Brunswick,  and  another  in  Vermont  near  Hoosac  Tunnel, 
on  the  Deerfield  river. 

Besides  these  private  interests,  he  is  still  engaged  in  the 
produce  and  commission  business  at  20  Faneuil  Hall  Market, 
Boston,  —  which  he  has  leased  for  the  purpose,  — under  the 
firm  name  of  L.  Blanchard  and  Co.,  is  interested  in  the  Over- 
all Factor}'  of  A.  F.  Blanchard  and  Co.,  at  West  Acton,  and  is 
head  of  the  firm  of  Blanchard  and  Chase,  engaged  in  lumbering 
in  N.  H. 

Mr.  Blanchard  held  the  oi3ice  of  constable  and  collector, 
assessor  and  auditor  for  five  or  six  years  in  Boxborough,  and 
has  served  on  the  school  board  three,  and  on  the  board  of  over- 
seers six  3'ears  in  Acton.  He  has  remodelled  his  buildings  and 
woiked  his  lands  about  West  Acton,  and  so  has  helped  greatly 
to  improve  the  village.  He  married  Miss  Jerusha  Vose,  Apr. 
8,  1858,    and   they  were  the  parents    of  four   children,  Mary 

Caroline  and  John  Blanchard.  95 

Florence,  born  Aug.  8,  1859,  died  when  two  years  and  four 
months  of  age,  Anna  Maria,  born  Oct.  7,  1862,  Arthur  F.,  born 
Jan.  21,  18G4,  and  Mary  Alice,  born  Dec.  21,  1867,  died  Feb. 
2,  1889. 

Elizabeth  lUanchard  married  Benjamin  S.  Hager.  For 
further  history  of  this  branch,  see  Hager  family. 

Caroline  Blanchard  married  Simeon  Wetherbee,  of  Box- 
borough,  and  they  have  eight  children :  M.  Llewellyn,  AUie 
v.,  Ellis,  Burt  L.,  Mary  K.,  Arthur  H.,  Ella  F.,  and  Carrie  li. 
Llewellyn  is  married  and  living  in  Boston ;  Allie  V.  married 
Morton  Ka3-mond,  of  Somerville,  and  they  have  one  son,  John 
Raymond  ;  Ellis  married  Annie  R.  Cowdrie  of  Boxborough, 
and  they  w4th  their  three  children  reside  in  Harvard ;  Burt  I^. 
is  in  business  in  Boston  ;  Mary  K.,  married  George  M.  Whit- 
comb,  of  Charlestown,  and  resides  in  that  place.  Arthur.  H 
married  Miss  Nellie  Mentzer,  of  Harvard,  Sept.  24,  1890,  and 
is  settled  on  the  home  farm  in  Boxborough ;  Ella  F.  is  teaching 
in  Ayer,  and  Carrie  B.  remains  at  home. 

John  Blanchard  mariied  Anna  M.  Snow,  and  they  are 
settled  in  Lawrence,  Mass.  They  have  buried  one  child,  and 
the  remaining  daughter,  Lillian,  is  at  home  preparing  herself 
for  a  teacher. 

Simon  Blancliard,  tlie  father  of  the  foregoing  family,  was  a 
man  of  delicate  health  but  good  constitution,  and  by  carefnl 
living,  regular  habits,  and  constant  observance  of  the  laws  of 
health,  his  life  and  strength  were  preserved  for  many  years. 
He  was  one  of  the  board  of  assessors  at  one  time,  but  he  was 
a  man  who  never  sought  the  honors  of  town  office. 

Mary  (Keyes)  Blanchard  died  Oct.  23,  1863,  aged  72 
years,  and  is  buried  in  the  Blanchard  tomb,  —  built  by  Simon 
Blanchard  in  1359,  —  at  Mt.  Hope  cemeter3%  West  Acton. 

In  1864,  Simon  Blanchard  married  Mrs.  Hannah  Preston, 
of  Boxborough,  for  his  third  wufe.  He  died  July  1,  1867, 
aged  83  years,  and  is  buried  in  the  family  tomb  at  West  Acton. 

Joseph,  son  of  Calvin  and  Abigail  (Reed)  Blanchard, 
married  Louisa  Marshall,  of  Tewksbury,  and  settled  on  the 
Reed  farm  where  the   buildings    were   recently    destroyed  by 

96         Boxhorongh :   a  New  Enyhind  Toivit  and  ita  People. 

fire.  Their  seven  cliildren  were,  Joseph,  Marshall,  Henderson, 
Solon,  Abby  Ann,  Mary  Louisa  and  Calvin.  Joseph,  Hender- 
son and  Mary  L.,  are  all  married  and  living  at  the  West. 
Joseph  is  a  physician.  Marshall  married  Charlotte  Reed,  of 
West  Acton,  and  died  in  California.  He  left  one  child. 
Solon  is  married  and  living  in  Weymouth.  Abby  Ann 
married  Eliab  Heed,  and  died  on  the  Reed  farm,  leaving  one 
child.      Calvin  is  unmarried,  and  lives  near  Weymouth. 

Joseph  Blanchard,  Senior,  was  given  to  learning,  a  teacher 
and  lecturer,  and  very  talented  for  the  times.  He  was  Deputy 
Inspector  of  hops,  and  for  a  short  time  raised  the  most  of  any 
farmer  in  town.     He  died  Mar.  20,  1835,  aged  46  years. 

Lucy,  dangliter  of  Calvin  and  Abigail,  married  Amos  Day 
of  Shirley. 


John  lilanchard,  youngest  son  of  Calvin  and  Abigail 
(Reed)  Rlanchard,  was  born  on  the  old  farm  in  Boxborough, 
Aug.  17,  1704.  His  father  lived  there  before  him,  having 
moved  from  the  Whitney  place  where  he  formerly  resided ;  and 
his  mother,  left  a  widow  when  her  son  John  was  but  five  and 
one  half  years  of  age,  made  licr  home  lliere  as  long  as  she  lived. 
After  her  death,  Mr.  Blanchard  took  the  farm  which  he  carried 
on  as  long  as  he  lived.  He  erected  the  present  buildings  -in 
1844  —  45.  He  was  a  great  hop-raiser,  having  carried  on  the 
business  for  more  than  half  a  century,  from  his  eighteenth  to 
his  seventieth  year.     He  was  also  sub-inspector  of  the  product. 

He  was  quite  a  fruit^raiser,  peaches  being  his  s})ecialty.  He 
had  a  large  peach  orchard  at  one  time,  —  the  trees  of  which  he 
budded  himself,  —  and  raised  and  sold  many  bushels  of  the 
delicious  fruit. 

Mr.  Blanchard  has  acted  as  road  surveyor  and  once  was 
unanimously  chosen  selectman,  but  naturally  of  a  quiet  retir- 
ing disposition,  he  declined  the  office.  He  took  a  great  interest 
in  the  Anti-slavery  cause,  voting  alone  in  town  for  several 
years.  He  was  liberal  in  giving,  especially  in  his  3'ounger 
days,  yet  doing  it  unpretendingly  and  without  ostentation. 

Mri<.  Marijaret  Blanehard.  97 

He  was  formerh^  a  member  of  the  I'nitarian  church  in 
Littleton  (Rev.  ^Ir.  Foster,  Pastor,)  of  which  his  mother  was 
also  a  member  until  she  was  seventy-eight  years  of  age,  when, 
her  views  changing,  she  united  with  the  Baptist  church  in 
Littleton.  ]\Ir.  John  Blanchard  subsequently  united  with  the 
same  church,  where  he  helped  to  erect  two  buildings  —  one 
having  been  burned  —  and  then  with  several  others  removed 
his  connection  to  West  Acton  Avhere  they  helped  to  build  the 
tii-st  l^aptist  church  in  that  village,  ^Nlr.  Blanchard  superintend- 
ing the  work. 

Subsequently,  when  this  building  was  also  l)urncd,  he  Avas 
requested  to  ovei'see  the  erection  of  the  present  edihce,  but  he 
declined  the  position. 

When  forty-five  years  of  age,  Apr.  17,  183S,  lie  married 
Miss  Margaret  Burbeck,  the  ceremony  Ijeing  performed  in 
AV'estford  by  Be  v.  Oliver  Ayer. 


Mrs.  ]\[argarct  (I>url>eck )  lUaiichard  was  born  in  Holder- 
ness,  X.  H.,  in  1813,  l^ut  at  the  time  of  her  marriage  was  living 
with  her  brother  at  Westford.  Brought  up  in  tlie  Orthodox 
church  from  childhood,  she  yet  favored  the  views  of  the 
Baptists,  and  refusing  to  unite  with  the  Congregationalists, 
upon  removing  to  Westford,  became  a  member  of  the  Baptist 
church  at  Chelmsford,  afterwards  removing  her  connection  to 
Littleton,  and  finally,  making  her  church  home  with  her 
husband  at  AVest  Acton. 

The  Blanchard  family  have  in  their  possession  a  line  like- 
ness of  Henry  Burbeck,  a  great-uncle  of  Airs.  Blanchard.  He 
is  dressed  in  the  style  of  "ye  olden  time,"  ruffled  shirt  front 
and  liigh  cravat,  his  regimental  coat  with  wide  lapels  and 
broad  collar,  decorated  with  epaulets  trimmed  with  heavy  gold 
lace,  and  buttons,  and  the  thick  curling  hair  gathered  into  a 
({ueue  behind. 

I  quote  from  Johnson's  Universal  Cyclopedia :  "  Henry 
Burbeck,  an  American  ofHcer,  Born  in  Boston,  June  8,  1754. 
He  was  a  soldier  in  the  Revolution  and  was  appointed  Captain 

98         Bo.rh<>roi((jh  :   a  Nctr  En;ihm<l  Toirii  and  itx  People. 

under  the  Confedeiation,  May  1787.  In  1789  be  was  com- 
missioned a  Captain  of  Artillery,  Major  in  1791,  Lieut.  Col.  in 
1798,  and  Colonel  in  1802. 

He  served  Avitli  distinction  in  tlie  Iievolntionary  war,  tliat 
of  1812  Avitli  Great  Britian,  and  in  frontier  service.  He  was 
brevetted  brigadier-general  in  1813,  and  retired  from  the  army 
June  1815.     He  died  at  New  London,  Conn.  Oct.  2,  1848." 

^L-.  and  INlrs.  lUanchard  had  eight  children,  ^fyron,  who 
died  in  childhood,  Abbie,  Cliarles,  Clara,  Juliette,  Lucy  A., 
George  and  l^onisa  ^I.  Abbie  married  Mr.  N.  E.  Whitcomb 
of  Boxborongh,  and  they  have  two  sons,  Ai'thur  M.  andAValdo 
E. ;  Clara  is  living  with  an  uncle  in  Salem;  Juliette  is  at 
home:  Lucy  A.  married  Mr.  (George  IL  Decosta,  and  they 
with  their  two  children  reside  at  West  Acton ;  Charles  is 
married,  and  settled  in  Eden,  Dakota  ;  George  remains  on  the 
home  farm,  and  Louisa  INL  married  Mr.  CUiarles  A.  Dudley  and 
resides  in  East  Caml)ridge,  Mass. 

INIr.  and  Mrs.  IVlanchard  commemorated  his  ninetieth  birth- 
day by  a  celebration  at  the  old  homestead,  jNlonday,  Aug.  18, 
1884.  Many  relatives  and  friends  took  this  opportunity  of 
expressing  by  their  presence  and  congratulations,  the  affection 
and  esteem  in  which  the  worthy  couple  were  held.  The 
picture  from  whicli  the  [)ortrait  was  engraved  was  taken  at 
that  time.  Mr.  lilanchard's  autograph  was  written  Avhcn  he 
was  ninety-two  years  of  age.  He  died  July  30,  1889,  when 
within  eighteen  days  of  his  ninety-fifth  birtliday,  and  is 
interred  at  Mount  Hope  cemeter}-,  West  Acton.  His  widow 
resides  with  her  son  at  the  old  homestead. 

Susannah,  daughter  of  Calvin  and  Abigail,  married  Abner 
Wheeler  of  Acton.  They  had  eight  children.  Mr.  Wlieeler 
died  young,  and  his  widow  afterwards  married  Pelatiah  Brooks, 
of  Acton.     They  had  one  child.     Mrs.  Brooks  died  in  Shirley. 

The  first  Calvin  Blanchard  was  in  the  whole  Revolutionary 
war.  He  was  at  tlie  battle  of  liunker  Hill  on  the  17th  of  June 
1775,  and  was  in  some  other  engagements  during  the  war.  He 
was  one  of  those  who  hel[)ed  to  Imild  the  forts  on  Dorchester 
Heights,  the  building  of  which  caused  the  British  troops  to 
leave  Boston.     He  lived  to  return  home  and  settle  on   a  farm 

JamcH  Stacy  Braman.  99 

tliat  is  iit  tlie  present  time,  and  has  always  l)een,  in  the 
[)Osession  of  tlie  JUancliards.  He  was  killed  by  the  fall  of  a 
tree,  Jan.  2,  1800. 


Benjamin  and  Charlotte  (Crossman)  Braman,  tlie  grand- 
parents of  James  Stacy,  of  Boxborongh,  were  born  in  Brighton, 
Mass.,  and  spent  their  days  there.  They  were  the  parents  of 
seven  childien,  Benjamin  M.,  William  L.,  Lorenzo  H.,  Elias 
(r.,  James  F..  Cnrtis  W.  and  Charlotte  A.  James  Freeman 
Biaman  married  Miss  Mary  E.  Stacy,  of  Concord,  a  niece  of 
John  Stacy,  the  bookseller  and  printer.  Nathaniel  Stacy,  of 
Harvard,  was  also  an  uncle  of  Mrs.  Braman.  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
-lames  F.  Braman  had  six  children,  William  H.,  George  S., 
James  S.,  Lizzie  M.,  Abbie  J.  and  Lydia  A.,  only  three  of 
whom  are  now  living ;  Al)bie  J.,  wlio  mari-ied  Frederic  O. 
Crout,  of  Ashland,  and  with  her  hnsband,  and  son,  Frank, 
resides  in  that  place  ;  Lydia  A.,  the  wife  of  Mi'.  William 
Withington,  of  Box])orongh,  son  of  John  AVithington,  of  Stow, — 
they  have  two  dangliters,  Eftie  M.  and  Eva  L — and  James 
Stacy,  who  married  Fannie  ?].,  eldest  danghtei-  of  Ceorge  and 
Mary  E.  (Ahern)  Knight,  of  Lndlow,  ^lass.,  and  resides  on 
the  farm  whicli  has  been  in  possession  of  the  Braman  family 
ai)out  twenty-three  years.  The  house  was  built  by  Simeon 
Wetliei'bee,  Norman  AW'therbee's  father.  jNIr.  and  Mrs.  James 
S.  Braman  have  six  children  whose  names  are  as  follows: 
Willie  II.  and  Ada  M.,  twins,  (xeorge  S.,  Clarence  F.,  J. 
Waldo  and  Benjamin  E. 

]\Ir.  James  S.  Braman'  is  a  farmer,  but  works  also  at  the 
carpenter's  trade.  He  was  a  member  of  the  school  board  for 
tliree  years.  His  father,  James  Freeman  Braman,  served  the 
town  as  selectman,  assessor,  and  overseer  of  the  poor,  four 
years.  Mrs.  Mary  E.  (Stacy)  Braman  died  Mar.  27,  1858,  at 
the  age  of  forty-one,  and  was  l)uried  in  Maiden.  Mr.  Braman 
married  for  his  second  wife,  i\lrs.  II.  L.  (T^owell)  Bingham,  of 
Washington,  N.  IL,  avIio  died  Aug.  5,  1877,  at  the  age  of 
sixty-five,   and   is  Inuied   in    lioxborough.     Mr.    Braman    died 

100       Boxhorough:  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

Apr.  25,  188(3,  aged  71  years,  22  days.  His  funeral  was 
attended  by  Boxhorough  Grange,  No.  131,  of  which  organiza- 
tion he  was  a  charter  member, —  his  phice  seldom  being 
vacant, —  and  the  (xrange  burial  service  was  used.  He  lies  in 
the  hill  cemetery. 


Some  thirty-five  years  ago,  Charles  H.  Burroughs,  born  in 
Alstead,  N.  H.,  Mar.  9,  1882,  settled  upon  the  farm  which  he 
now  occupies  in  the  southeast  part  of  the  town.  He  received 
the  estate  from  his  father,  Zabine  Curtis  Burroughs  (1800-1885)^ 
who  had  occupied  it  before  him.  Samuel  Burroughs,  born 
Mar.  25,  1843,  a  brother  of  Charles  H.,  served  in  the  late  Civil 
War  four  years,  but  though  in  several  battles,  that  of 
Winchester  among  them,  he  was  never  wounded.  He  is  now 
living  at  West  Acton.  An  uncle  of  these  brothers,  Samuel 
Burroughs,  has  three  sons,  Samuel,  Edward  and  Walter,  who 
are  noted  physicians  in  the  state  of  Illinois.  The  second  son, 
Edward,  is  a  very   skilful  surgeon. 

May  21,  1857,  Charles  H.  Burroughs  married  Miss  Mary 
E.  Brown,  daughter  of  Hermon  and  Sophronia  Brown,  of  New 
Ipswich,  N.  H.  May  22,  1882,  they  celebrated  their  silver 
wedding.  The  marriage  anniversary  was  also  the  anniversary 
of  their  daughter  Lizzie's  death.  Mrs.  Ihown  has  made  her 
home  with  her  daughter,  Mrs.  Burroughs,  for  the  past  sixteen 
years,  since  her  husband's  death,  and  although  ninety  years  of 
age,  seems  to  be  in  excellent  health,  for  one  so  advanced  in 
years,  at  the  present  time.  We  quote  from  the  "  Vermont 
Phoenix,''  —  of  which  paper  Mr.  Addison  Brown  was  editor  for 
a  great  many  years,  —  an  article  published  in  1867  regarding 
a  reunion  of  the  Brown  family,  at  New  Ipswich.  "Just  before 
the  Revolutionary  war  l)roke  out,  two  brotlicrs,  John  and 
Josiah  Brown,  then  young  men,  removed  witli  tlieir  families 
from  Concord,  Mass.,  to  New  Ipswich,  N.  H.,  and  settled  near 
each  other  on  new  land  situated  on  a  high  elevation  called, 
'  Flat  Mountain. '  They  carried  with  them,  strength,  energy, 
patriotism,    and    a    strong   religious  faith.     Here    in  this  new 

Charles  H.  Burroughs.  101 

country  they  felled  the  trees,  cleared  up  the  forests,  and  in  due 
time  made  for  themselves  and  families,  comfortable  liomes. 
They  both  reared  large  families  of  childien,  who  in  tlieir  turn 
married  and  had  larg-e  families,  whose  numerous  descendants 
are  now  scattered  fai-  and  wide  throughout  the  land.  John  and 
Josiah  traced  their  lineage  back  to  Jolm  Brown,  who  came 
over  to  this  country  a  few  years  after  his  brother  Peter,  of  the 
May  Flower,  and  settled  in  Duxbury  Mass.  Old  John  Brown, 
the  martyr,  '  whose  soul  is  passing  on  ',  was  prol)ably  a 
descendiuit  of  Peter,  of  the  May  Flower.  Josiali  Brown 
married  Sarah  Wright,  and  they  raised  a  famil}'  of  twelve 
children,  who  lived  to  adult  age,  married  and  reared  large 
families,  several  of  whom  settled  in  AVliitingham  in  this 
county.  It  is  somewhat  singular  that  tlie  birth  of  these 
twelve  children  followed  each  other  in  the  following  order, — 
three  sons  and  a  daughter,  three  sons  and  a  daughter,  three 
sons  and  a  daughter.  Two  of  each  of  the  families  of  John  and 
Josiah  intermarried.  Reuben,  son  of  .John,  married  his  cousin 
Sarah,  daughter  of  Josiah  ;  and  Aaron,  son  of  Josiah,  married 
his  cousin  Hannah,  daughter  of  John.  Tlie  last  couple  lived 
with  the  parents  of  Hannah,  took  care  of  them  during  their 
declining  years,  and  resided  on  the  same  farm  during  their  own 
life-time.  They  luid  six  cliildren,  one,  a  daughter,  was  killed 
l)y  tlie  kick  of  a  horse,  when  about  eight  _years  of  age  ;  the 
next,  a  son,  died  in  infancy  ;  the  hfth,  a  daugliter,  Avas  married 
to  W.  ('.  Billings,  of  Northfield,  Mass.,  and  died  in  1836. 
Three  sons  are  still  living,  Addison,  of  Brattleboro,  Hermon,  of 
Boxborough,  Mass.,  and  John  S.,  of  Lawrence,  Kansas.  Last 
week,  these  three  brothers  with  their  wives,  Mrs.  Eliza  J.  Pao-e, 
wife  of  Wm.  M.  Page,  St.  Louis,  ]\Io.,  an  adopted  daughter  of 
Aaron  and  Hannah  Brown,  and  Charles  Burroughs  and  wife, 
daughter  of  Hermon,  with  two  young  cliildren,  met  at  New 
Ipswich,  visited  the  graves  of  their  ancestors  and  relatives  that 
had  gone  to  the  better  land,  and  went  to  take  a  view  of  the 
old  farm  on  Flat  Mountain,  where  tlie  three  sons  were  born 
and  passed  their  early  years.  There  they  had  a  picnic  on  a 
high  rocky   ridge,  and  called  to    mind  days  and   events  gone 

102        Boxhorougli :  a  Neio  England  Town  and  its  People. 

by.  They  were  accompanied  on  this  excursion  by  an  ohi 
friend,  lienjamin  Davis,  aged  80  jears,  who  entered  into  the 
spirit  of  the  occasion  with  the  enthusiam  of  a  young  man, 
walking  up  steep  places  and  over  rough  rocks,  with  a  firm, 
quick  step.  jMr.  and  ^Irs.  Benjamin  Davis  received  and 
entertained  the  i)arty  at  their  house,  where  everything  was 
done  for  the  comfort  and  enjoyment  of  the  guests.  The  enter- 
tainment was  planned  and  directed  by  Mrs.  Page,  to  whom 
much  credit  is  due  for  the  very  pleasant  gathering  of  friends 
and  relatives.  One  evening  there  was  a  large  tea-party  of 
neighbors  and  friends  who  came  in  to  greet  and  welcome  those 
who  had  come  from  a  distance  to  this  family  gathering.  Here 
were  the  extremes  of  age  met  together.  The  oldest  was 
Joseph  Davis,  brother  of  Benjamin,  who  lacks  but  about  four 
months  of  90  years  of  age,  and  is  yet  bright  and  active,  showing 
still,  evidences  of  former  vigor  and  energy.  The  youngest 
was  George  W.  Burroughs.  Josiah  Brown,  mentioned  above, 
was  a  man  of  great  strength  and  power  of  endurance. '  He 
took  part  in  the  Revolutionary  struggle,  fought  at  the  Imttle 
of  Bunker  Hill,  where  lie  was  Lieutenant  under  Capt.  Towne, 
of  a  volunteer  com[)any  from  New  Tpswicli,  and  wlien  more 
than  four-score  years  of  age,  at  the  mention  of  Bunker  Hill,  he 
would  brighten  up  with  new  life,  and  describe  incidents  of  the 
battle  as  vividly  as  though  it  liad  just  taken  place.  It  was  a 
great  jdeasure  and  gratitication  to  l)e  present  at  this  family 
gathering,  to  see  friends  who  had  l)een  long  separated,  to  talk 
over  the  past,  and  to  thank'  (iod  togetlier  for  liis  innumerable 
blessings."  Mrs.  l^urrouglis  has  in  her  possession  an  old 
family  Bible  containing  the  ancestral  records  as  far  l)ack  as 
1743.  Dr.  Samuel  Prescott  who  was  associated  with  Paul 
Revere  in  his  famous  "  midnight  ride,"  was  a  great-uncle  of 
Mrs.  Burroughs'  mother,  tfe  was  born  Aug.  19,  1751.  Wm. 
l^rescott,  M.  D.,  sa_ys  of  him  in  his  '^  Prescott  Memorial,"  ''On 
his  return  from  Lexington,  in  the  night  preceding  the  19th  of 
April,  1775, —  where  he  had  spent  the  evening  in  j^aying  his 
addresses  to  the  daughter  of  a  Mr.  jNIulliken,  he  soon  overtook 
Paul  Revere  and  Mr.  Dawes  on  their  way  to  Concord.     When 

Charlei<  H.  Burroinjh^.  103 

the  three  had  arrived  near  Plartwell's  tavern  in  the  lower 
l)Ounds  of  Lincoln,  they  were  attacked  hy  four  IJritish  soldiers 
of  a  scouting  party  sent  out  the  preceding  evening.  Revere 
and  Dawes  were  taken  })risoners.  Prescott  was  also  attacked, 
and  had  the  reiJis  of  his  horse's  bridle  cut,  l)ut  he  succeeded 
in  making  his  escape  by  jumping  his  hoise  over  the  wall;  and 
taking  a  circuitous  way  through  Lincoln,  he  pushed  on  with 
the  utmost  speed  to  Concord,  and  gave  the  alarm  of  the 
approach  of  the  British.  Mc  was  sul)sequently  taken  prisoner 
on  l)oard  of  a  privateer,  and  carried  into  Ihdifax,  Nova  Scotia, 
where  he  died  in  prison."'  William  II.  I'rcscoll,  the  historian, 
is  also  connected  willi  this  family.  The  name  Prescott  is  taken 
from  two  words  meaning  priest  and  cottage.  John  Prescott, 
the  first  one  of  the  family  Avho  came  to  this  country,  settled  in 
what  is  now  Lancaster,  and  the  town  Avas  named  in  his  honor 
from  Lancastershire  Co.,  England,  from  which  he  came.  He 
was  a  powerful,  athletic  man,  l)rave  and  eni'igiilic,  and  followed 
the  occupation  of  a  l)lacksmitli.  lie  brought  with  him  to  this 
country,  a  coat  of  mail,  armor  and  habiliments  all  complete, 
and  it  is  therefore  sup[)Osed  that  some  of  his  people  might 
have  been  warriors.  This  armor  was  of  great  service  to  him  in 
his  dealings  with  the  Indians,  Avhose  superstitious  fears  were 
easily  excited  by  means  of  its  wonderful  impenetrability.  On 
one  occasion,  having  many  times,  in  astonishment  and  terror, 
seen  their  bullets  glance  from  his  armor  without  any  apparent 
injury  to  himself,  they  drew  near  and  asked  him  with  regard  to 
it.  Mr.  Prescott  showed  the  armor  to  the  chief,  and  at  liis 
desire,  placed  the  helmet  upon  the  Indian's  head.  It  did  not 
seem  to  fit  the  Indian  cranium  as  well  as  it  did  the  Saxon,  for 
it  is  recorded  that  it  slipped  down  nearly  to  the  chief's  ears, 
and  in  one  place  scraped  off  the  skin.  An  interesting  anecdote 
is  related  of  Jonas,  the  son  of  John  Prescott.  He  had  sought 
and  obtained  the  affections  of  a  beautiful  girl  whose  name  was 
Mary  Loker.  But  tlie  lady's  parents,  who  were  in  high 
social  position,  looked  down  on  the  blacksmith's  son,  and 
decided  that  their  daughter  must  marry  a  certain  lawyer  who 
had  shown   her  some   attention,  but  whose  suit  she  in  no  wise 

104        Boxhorough :  a  New  EnyliDid  Town,  and  its  People. 

favored.  The  son  of  the  bhicksmith  was  forbidden  the  house, 
but,  encouraged  by  the  fair  J\larj,  he  came  against  lier  parents' 
wishes.  Then  her  window  Avas  grated,  and  whenever  her 
forbidden  suitor  called,  she  was  locked  into  her  room.  Young 
Prescott  continued  his  suit,  but  paid  his  addresses  to  his  fair 
one  under  her  window.  Learning  of  this  state  of  affairs,  the 
parents  sent  the  girl  secretly  to  Chocksett, —  now  Sterling, — 
for  a  prolonged  stay  with  friends.  The  young  man  sought  un- 
successfully for  his  affianced  for  a  time,  but  finally  he  happened 
upon  the  town  Avhere  she  was  visiting.  Falling  in  with  some 
young  men  with  whom  he  was  acquainted,  he  asked  them  if 
there  were  any  pretty  girls  in  town.  Without  immediately 
satisfying  his  curiosity,  they  told  him  that  there  was  to  be  a 
quilting  party  that  evening  in  the  village,  and  gave  him  an 
invitation  to  be  present  and  decide  for  himself.  He  went, 
found  his  lady  among  the  fair  ones  gathered  there,  managed  to 
become  lier  partner  in  a  dance  at  the  close  of  the  evening, 
arranged  a  plan  for  future  meetings,  and  continued  his 
attentions  as  before.  Her  parents  were  soon  apprised  of  the 
new  state  of  affairs,  and  recalling  her  home,  told  her  peremp- 
torily that  she  must  marry  the  lawyer,  or,  if  she  still  persisted 
in  the  way  she  liad  chosen,  they  would  cut  her  off  Avithout  a 
penny.  This  did  not  shake  the  resolves  of  the  lovers,  but 
hastened  their  marriage.  They  had  no  property,  and  when 
Mary  began  house-keeping,  she  had  only  a  two  quart  kettle, 
and  half  the  shell  of  a  pumpkin  for  a  wash  tul),  as  utensils. 
Yet  she  lived  and  })rospcred,  reared  a  family  of  twelve 
children,  and  died,  leaving  175  descendants,  at  the  age  of  82 
years.  Of  this  beginning  sprang  all  the  warriors,  doctors, 
jurors,  lawyers,  historians  and  civilians  of  the  Prescott  family. 
Benjamin,  the  youngest  son,  Avas  sent  Kepresentative  to  the 
General  Court  from  Groton,  at  the  age  of  27  j^ears,  and  held 
this  position  for  seven  or  eight  years  in  succession. 

Humphrey  Prescott,  of  Gai'lisle,  is  a  brother  of  ]\Irs.  Brown, 
Mrs.  Burroughs'  mother,  the}'  two  being  the  only  surviving 
members  of  the  family.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Burroughs  have  four 
children     living,    Minnie    L.,    George    W.,    Charles    H.    and 

The    Chester  Famili/.  105 

Marian  E.  The  great  sorrow  of  their  lives  was  the  death 
from  scarlet  fever.  Ma}'  21,  1880,  in  Fitchbnrg,  where  she  was 
attending  school,  of  their  second  daughter,  Lizzie,  when  only 
sixteen  years  of  age.  Minnie  L.  is  a  graduate  of  the 
Worcester  Normal  School,  and  has  l)een  engaged  in  teaching 
for  several  years,  most  of  the  time  in  South  Hraintree.  At 
present  she  is  teaching  in  her  own  home  district,  Xo.  4, 
George  AV.  and  Charles  H.  are  at  home  with  their  father,  and 
Marian  E.  is  attending  school  at  Ashburidiam.  Mr.  and  JNIrs. 
burroughs  are  highly  esteemed  by  all  who  know  them.  Mrs. 
Burrroughs  was  a  teacher  in  one  of  our  schools  before  lier 
marriage,  and  is  (luite  literar}'  in  her  tastes. 

Apr.  2(1,  1891,  Kev.  John  S.  Brown,  a  Unitarian  minister, 
son  of  Josiah  Brown,  and  an  uncle  of  Mrs.  Burroughs,  who  has 
reached  the  advanced  age  of  85  years,  walked  one  mile  to 
church,  preached  an  interesting  sermon  of  forty  minutes 
duration,  and  then  walked  back  to  his  home.  lie  is  a  i-esident 
of  Lawrence,  Kansas. 

The  house  where  Mr.  Burroughs  lives,  bears  evidence  of 
being  one  of  the  oldest  in  town,  and  there  is  quite  an  interest- 
ing history  connected  Avith  it.  We  have  already  referred  to 
the  Taylor  family  who  resided  here  in  former  days.  In 
Ephraim  Taylor's  time,  it  was  used  as  a  hotel,  and  the  ancient 
sign-board  was,  until  very  recently,  in  existence.  One  portion 
of  the  second  story  of  the  building, —  now  divided  into 
chambers, —  was,  in  the  days  of  the  hotel,  used  as  a  dance 
hall.  The  old  nuister-iield  was  formerly  situated  near  this  old 
homestead,  Avhere  Mv.  A.  A.  Richardson  now  cultivates  a  large 
corn-field,  and  Mr.  T^urroughs,  a  field  of  as})aragus. 


Phineas  Taylor  once  kept  a  negro  maid-servant  on  the 
Burroughs  farm,  whose  descendants  are  living  in  town,  and 
own  property  here  at  the  present  time.  Mr.  Taylor  obtained 
the  child  when  a  babe,  in  Boston,  making  payment  therefor 
with  a  box  of  butter.  "  Either  the  child  could  not  have  been 
worth  much,  or  the  box  of  butter  must  have  been  very  large,  as 

106        Boxhorou(j]t  :  a  JVeiv  England  Toivn  aiid  its  People. 

the  l)est  butter  was  not  more  than  twelve  cents  a  pound  in 
those  days,"  leniarked  a  descendant  as  the  incident  was  related. 
But  so  the  story  has  been  handed  down  from  one  generation  to 
another,  until  the  present  time.  Having  journeyed  to  Boston 
on  horseback  after  his  purchase,  jNlr.  Taylor  brought  her 
home  on  a  pillion  behind  him.  Tliey  named  her  Gate  Taylor, 
and  she  served  the  family  thirty  years,  when  she  was  given 
her  liberty.  Mrs.  Willis,  a  grand-daughter  of  Gate  Taylor,  has 
the  freedom  papers  in  her  possession.  The  following  is  a  copy  : 
"  Know  all  men  by  these  Presents  that  I,  Phineas  Taylor 
of  Stow,  in  the  Gounty  of  Middlesex  in  the  Provence  of  the  Massa- 
chusetts l)ay  in  new  England,  Gentlemen,  have  given  and 
granted,  and  by  these  Presents  Gontirm  unto  my  negro  maid 
Servant  named  Gate  her  freedom  from  me  and  my  heirs  and 
assigns  forever,  the  above  said  Gate's  freedom  is  to  commence 
or  begin  on  Tuesday  the  seventh  day  of  April  A.  I).  1772,  and 
at  the  end  of  the  thirtieth  year  of  her  age  and  for  the  true  per- 
formance of  what  is  above  written,  I,  the  Said  Phineas  Taylor 
have  hereunto  Set  to  my  hand  and  seal  this  sixth  day  of  Api'il 
A.  D.  1772,  and  in  the  Twelfth  year  of  his  majestie's  Reign 
George  the  thiid  King  cV  G.  Signed  Sealed  and  Delivered  in 
Presents  of  us 

Silas  Taylor 

Ephraim  Taylor  Phineas  Taylor." 

Abigail  lirown 
Some  one  has  said,  ^'  Notliing  seemed  to  pros[)er  on  that 
farm  until  the  maid  servant  was  liberated,"  yet  they  were 
always  good  to  Gate.  At  the  time  of  the  advent  of  the  little 
stranger  babe,  there  was  an  infant  girl  of  the  family  of  about 
the  same  age,  called  Doll}^,  and  these  two  were  daily  play- 
mates. The  little  table  at  ^\'hich  they  ate  their  supper  is  also 
in  possession  of  Mrs.  Willis. 

Prince  Chester  and  Gate  (Taylor)  Ghester,  were  the  parents 
of  seven  children,  Ruth,  Eunice,  Lucy,  ]Mary,  Prince  James, 
Paul  and  Silas,  all  of  whom  lived  and  died  in  Boxborough. 
Mr.  Taylor  gave  Gate,  for  her  wedding  portion,  the  farm  where 
the  Talbot  family  foi-merly  resided  in  the  soutli-western  part  of 

Toicer  Hazzard.  107 

the  town,  and  Prince  James  C'hester,  her  son,  formerly  lived 
on  land  in  the  same  section  no\y  owned  by  Mr.  Peter 
W^hitcomb, —  from  which  he  removed  to  the  place  now  owned 
by  Mrs.  Willis.  C'ate  (Taylor)  Chester,  having  retnrned  to 
her  early  home  to  nurse  Mr.  Ta3'lor  in  an  attack  of  spotted 
fever  of  which  he  died,  contracted  the  disease  and  died  also, 
leaving  her  twin  babes,  Panl  and  Silas,  but  a  few  months  old. 
Prince  James  Chester  (1781-1808)  married  JNIrs.  Irene  Coole}-, 
( 178o-18Gl)  of  Pepperell,  and  the}'  were  the  parents  of  nine 
children,  of  whom  only  three  are  now  living,  ]\Iary  Ann,  born 
May  17,  1815.  James  Sydney,  born  July  30,  1820,  and  Irene, 
l)orn  June  11,  1822.  Mary  Ann, —  Mrs.  Willis,  before 
mentioned, —  owns  the  small  farm  where  her  father  formerlj' 
resided,  but  is  at  present  settled  in  Groton.  Her  adopted 
daughter.  Miss  Annie  Willis,  graduated  from  Lawrence 
Academy,  two  or  three  years  ago,  and  was  recently  married. 
James  Sydney  Chester  married  Rachel  Payne,  and  settled  near 
his  father's  home.  Mrs.  Chester  lias  l)een  dead  a  number  of 
years.  They  have  eight  cliildren  living,  of  whom  one  son, 
Newell,  is  married  and  living  on  the  AVillis  place.  They  have 
two  daughters.  Irene  Cliester  married  Alvin  Parker,  and 
resides  on  a  portion  of  the  ancient  Phinehas  Wetherbee  home- 
stead. Prince  James  Chester  was  a  respected  citizen,  both  he 
and  his  wife  having  been  members  of  the  Congregational 
church  in  Boxborough.  Mrs.  Willis,  and  also  Mi-s.  Parker 
have  the  well-earned  reputation  of  Ijeing  very  skilful  nurses, 
and  are  women  of  decided  Christian  character. 


Tower  Hazzard,  now  of  Harvard,  Mass.,  is  the  son  of  Tower 
and  Lucy  (Whitney)  Hazzard,  formerlj^  of  Boxborough,  and  a 
great-grand-son  of  Cate  (Taylor)  Chester,  the  maid-servant  of 
Phinehas  Taylor,  wlio  resided  on  the  Burroughs  place  more 
than  a  century  ago.  Tower  Hazzard,  Sr.,  lived  in  the  south 
[)art  of  the  town  in  a  dwelling  whicli  wa^  subsequently  burned. 
Here  three  children  were  l)()rn  to  them  :  Lucy  Elizabeth,  who 
married  Henry  G.  Lewis  ;  Tower,  Jr.,  born  Aug.  6,  1820,  who 

108        Boxliorongli :  a  New  F/miJand  Town  and  its  Peo})le. 

married  Catlierine  Freeman  of  (nirdner,  Mass. ;  and  Martha 
Ann,  who  married  Barzillai  Williams. 

Tower,  and  Catherine  (Freeman)  Hazzard,  are  settled  in 
Harvard.  They  have  three  children,  Warren  T.,  Roswell  B. 
and  Martha  Ann.  Warren  T.  married  Lucy  Galbreth,  of 
Georgia,  and  they  with  their  two  daughters,  Cora  and  Stella, 
are  living  in  Barr  City,  Colorado.  Roswell  B.  married  Julia 
Scott,  of  Worcester.  They  have  one  son.  Martha  Ann 
married  Allen  H.  Hazzard,  of  Woodstock,  Vt.,  and  they  have 
four  children  living,  Lucy  W.,  James  T.,  Alva  E.,  and 
Charles  S. 

Tower  Hazzard,  Sr.,  was  a  Methodist  in  religious  belief, 
and  was  highly  esteemed  as  a  Christian  man  by  his  brethren  in 
the  church.  He  was  very  fond  of  children,  and  the  aged  ones 
among  us  —  the  children  of  his  day, —  hold  liim  in  loving 
remembrance  even  now,  and  often  recall  his  kindly  words  and 

His  mother,  Lucy  Cliester,  (1T74-I84i*)  was  a  woman  of 
more  than  ordinary  phj'sical  strength  and  endurance. 






John  Cobleigh  came  from  Scotland  at  an  early  period,  and 
purchased  land  here  about  1707.  He  was  the  ancestor  of  a 
large  family,  whose  descendants  are  still  with  us  in  the  persons 
of  Ruel  T.,  Daniel  \\\,  and  Kpliiaini  li.  Cobleigh,  sons  of 
Daniel,  born  Aug.  10,  1801,  and  Hannah  (Whiteomb)  Cob- 
leigh, born  July  18,  1804,  and  Ephraim,  son  of  John  and 
Caroline  (Hay ward)  Cobleigh.  The  grand-parents  of  these 
were  John  and  Racliael  Cobleigh.  From  the  first  one  of  the 
family  who  came  from  Scotland  down  to  Epliraim  Cobleigh, 
one  son  has  always  borne  the  name  of  John.  Tlie  little  trunk 
covered  with  hair  and  studded  with  brass  nails,  in  which  the 
first  John  Cobleigh  kept  his  money,  and  his  sword  belonging 
to  the  uniform  which  he  wore  on  state  occasions,  are  in  posses- 
sion of  a  cousin  of  Ephraim  B.  Cobleigh,  Avho  received  them 
from  his  mother  at  her  death  three  years  ago.  They  had  been 
handed  down  from  one  generation  to  another  until  she  obtained 
possession  of  them.  Daniel  Cobleigh  married  Ann  Perkins  of 
Biddeford,  Me.,  for  his  second  wife.  The  later  years  of  her  life 
were  spent  in  the  family  of  Mr.  Ruel  T.  Cobleigh,  where  she 
died  May  6,  1891,  aged  80  years,  2  months.  Daniel  Cobleigh 
died  Aug.  14,  1857.  Hannah  (Whiteomb)  Cobleigli  died 
July  25,  1849.     They  are  buried  in  the  cemetery  on  the  hill. 

The  old  Cobleigh  homestead  formerly  stood  opposite  Mr. 
Wright's  present  residence. 

110        Bo.rhorough  :  a  Neio  England  Town  and  its  People. 

Ruel  T.  Cobleigli  married  Elizabeth  H.  Perkins  of  Bidde- 
ford,  Me.,  Feb.  28,  1856.  They  had  three  chiklren,  Frank, 
who  died  yoling  ;  John  R.,  who  married  Sarah  Withington,  of 
Princeton,  May  9,  1887,  and  lives  on  the  home-place, —  their 
only  child,  Olive  May,  died  May  28,  1890,  aged  1  year,  10 
months,  23  days, —  and  Mida  E.,  who  married  Willard  Bnrns, 
in  1884,  and  resides  in  Fitchbnrg.  They  have  two  cliildren 
living,  Frances  May,  and  Lizzie  Mabel. 

Kuel  T.  Cobleigli  has  been  active  in  town  affairs,  having 
been  selectman,  assessor,  constable  and  collector,  auditor,  high- 
way surveyor,  etc.,  for  a  number  of  years. 

Daniel  W.  Cobleigli  married  Caroline  Smith  of  Charlestown 
for  his  first  wife,  and  they  had  two  daughters,  Hannah  Maria, 
and  Carrie  Etta.  Hannah  Maria  Cobleigh  married  Mr.  Chas. 
H.  Veasie  and  settled  in  Boxborough.  Tliey  have  four  sons, 
Alfred  A.,  Henry  B.,  Charles  Elmar,  and  Ira.  Carrie  Etta 
Cobleigh  is  teaching  in  Harvard.  She  is  a  fine  musician. 
Daniel  W.  Coljleigh  married  ]\Irs.  Antoinette  Barnard, 
daughter  of  Mr.  A^arnum  Taylor,  for  his  second  wife. 

jNIr.  Cobleigh  has  held  the  position  of  town  treasurer  for 
the  [)ast  twenty-eight  years,  was  town  clerk  for  six  years, 
selectman  for  seven  years  continuously  —  eleven  3'ears  in  all  — 
and  has  been  elected  to  various  other  town  offices. 


Ephraim  Lrown  Col)leigh,  who>e  parentage  has  been 
already  given,  was  born  in  the  old  Cobleigli  homestead,  June  1, 
1833.  His  mother  died  when  he  was  only  sixteen,  and  left  an 
orphan  thus  early  in  life,  bereft  of  tlie  mother's  influence  and 
the  home  care, —  to  use  his  own  expression  in  speaking  of  this 
period  of  his  life,  "  One  who  loses  a  mothei'  loses  eveiy- 
tliing," — rFeb.  15,  '51,  he  went  out  from  beneath  the  old  ances- 
tral roof-tree  to  make  a  way  for  himself.  With  some  of  his 
young  companions,  he  first  went  to  Bolton,  ]\Iass.,  where  he 
sought  and  obtained  employment  in  a  shoe-shop.  Here  he 
remained  several  months,  but  the  following  July,  without 
returning  to   take   leave  of  the   home  friends,  he   directed  his 


Ephraim  B.    Cohleigh.  Ill 

steps  to  C'harlston,  S.  C,  where  lie  immediately  engaged  him- 
self at  his  trade.  After  a  stay  of  a  few  months,  the  roving- 
disposition  returned  in  full  force,  and  In;  set  out  once  more  on 
a  tour  westward  through  the  Southern  states.  Passing  through 
Georgia,  Florida,  Alabama,  up  the  Cumberland  to  Nashville, 
Tennessee  ;  from  Tennessee  down  the  iNIississippi  to  New 
Orleans,  he  improved  his  time  in  studying  Southern  life  as  it 
was  presented  to  him  in  its  various  forms  in  those  days  of 
slavery  before  the  war.  Leaving  New  Orleans,  he  sailed  uj) 
the  Mississippi  and  Ohio  rivers  to  ('incinnati,  Ohio,  and 
thence  across  the  river  to  Covington,  Kentucky.  Here,  his 
funds  exhausted,  and  without  friends,  he  enlisted  for  live 
years  in  the  regular  army,  Co.  !>.  2d  Regiment  artillery,  doing 
cavalry  duty.  The  Navajo  war  in  New  Mexico  being  in  prog- 
ress at  that  time,  the  coni[)any  was  ordered  to  Fort  Defiance. 
In  this  forced  march  of  Sept.  '')2,  from  Fort  I^eavenworth, 
Kansas,  to  Fort  Defiance,  New  Mexico,  a'  distance  of  1300 
miles,  through  a  countr}^  at  that  time  wild  and  desolate  in  the 
extreme,  the  3'oung  volunteer  began  to  experience  for  the  first 
time  the  [)rivations  incident  to  the  life  of  a  soldier.  The  raw 
recruits,  unused  to  such  hardship,  dropped  off  continually 
along  the  route  until  over  one  hundred  were  left  in  their  lonely 
graves  upon  the  jdains.  Sometimes,  for  three  days  at  a  time, 
the  soldiers  went  without  ^\■ater,  until  the  parched  tongues, 
black  and  swollen,  attested  their  sufferings.  In  this 
Avilderness  Avhere  no  white  man  had  ever  reared  his  dwelling, 
surrounded  by  the  Navajo  Indians, —  a  tiibc  on  a  parallel  with 
the  Apaches  for  cunning  and  treachery, —  Mr.  Cobleigh,  as  a 
soldier,  remained  for  five  years,  never  off  duty,  but  doing  duty 
every  day,  though  often  lame  and  foot-sore ;  this  life  being 
varied  by  occasional  expeditions  with  sconting  parties  under 
the  guidance  of  Mexican  Jack  and  Kit  Carson.  Mr.  Cobleigh 
gives  us  the  following  incident  taken  from  his  experience  at 
that  time : — 

'^  Many  an  old  soldier  of  the  Regular  Army  out  in  that 
Indian  country  in  my  time,  endured  harships  and  encountered 
danger  e(pial  to  any  of  the  teiTible  sufferings  of  the  Civil  War, 

112        Boxhorowjh :  a  New  JEm/land  Town  and  its  People. 

only  of  another  sort.  ( )ne  adventure  of  my  own  has  left  an 
impress  on  my  memory  that  time  has  not  effaced.  I  take  from 
my  diary, — ke])t  tlu-ongh  those  years,  and  still  preserved, — 
the  following  facts  :  Sept.  lo,  1854,  a  detachment  of  twenty- 
five  soldiers  was  made  up  to  go  out  in  search  of  grazing 
grounds.  My  duties  as  sergeant-major  were  rather  monotonous 
just  then,  so  I  volunteered  to  go  with  this  detachment.  The 
Navajos  about  us  at  that  time  were  supposed  to  be  '' friendlies." 
After  a  day's  marcli,  we  camped  for  the  night.  Next  morning, 
three  of  us,  Myers,  Ryan,  and  myself  rode  about  a  mile  away 
from  camp  to  the  southward,  and  came  suddenly  upon  a  small 
band  of  Indians.  They  made  every  motion  of  friendliness,  and 
when  we  told  them  Ave  were  in  search  of  grazing  grounds,  they 
said,  'Good  water,  good  grazing  a  little  way  round  the 
mountain  and  we  show  you  the  way.'  We  started,  the  Indians 
first  taking  the  lead,  l)ut  a  few  fell  behind  l)efore  we  entered 
the  narrow  dehle,  a  trail  worn  in  the  rocks,  with  a  steep  ledge 
on  one  side,  and  a  preci})ice  on  the  other.  I  began  to  have 
fears,  but  it  was  impossible  to  turn  about  and  retreat,  so  we 
were  forced  to  go  on,  and  I  tried  to  hide  my  suspicions  of 
danger.  We  soon  came  abruptly  into  a  beautiful  valley.  These 
fertile  basins  are  a  wonderful  natural  feature  to  be  found  here 
and  there  anioug  the  most  rocky  parts  of  New  Mexico  and 
Arizona.  The  valleys  are  hemmed  in  by  great  sandstone  walls, 
and  this  particular  vallc}^  of  which  I  speak,  seemingly  had  no 
other  outlet  than  tlie  one  by  Avhich  we  entered.  Here  were 
camped  hundreds  of  ludians,  women  and  children.  I  said  to 
the  boys,  ''  We'  re  in  for  it."  We  were  invited  to  dismount, 
our  horses  were  turned  loose,  and  our  ritles  taken  from  us.  I 
felt  that  my  time  had  come  as  I  saw  them  drive  stakes  into  the 
ground,  and  prepare  to  give  us  a  scorching.  Comrade  Ryan, 
having  red  hair, —  the  Indians  have  a  supreme  affection  for  red 
heads,  and  covet  such  scalps  above  all  others, —  claimed  their 
first  attention,  and  although  the  savages  bound  us  all  to  stakes 
with  strips  of  cedar  bark,  they  proceeded  to  bestow  their 
closest  attention  upon  poor  Ryan  who  howled  at  tliem  all  sorts 
of  Irish   lingo,  as   the  savage  horde  danced  and  yelled  around 

Ephraim   B.    CohJeinh.  118 

him.  It  would  have  looked  funny  on  the  stage  of  a  theatre, 
but  on  the  stage  of  life  it  was  horrible.  Finding  that  atten- 
tion was  drawn  from  me,  I  wriggled  my  hands  from  the  cedar 
strips  that  bound  them,  unfastened  my  limbs,  and  seized  my 
horse  which  strayed  near  me,  frightened  at  the  tumult.  With 
a  bound  I  was  on  his  back,  naked  as  I  was,  and  speeding  out 
of  the  valley  away  over  the  narrow  defile  b}'  which  we  had 
entered.  My  horse  was  accustomed  to  mountainous  travel,  but 
any  false  step  on  his  part  would  have  sent  us  rolling  down, 
down,  seemingl}^  to  the  bowels  of  tlie  earth.  I  reached  my 
comrades  unpui-sued,  but  we  were  too  small  a  band  to  go  to  the 
rescue  of  Kyan  and  Myei-s,  and  we  never  saw  them  again.  My 
escape  seems  fabulous,  and  as  I  wrote  it  in  my  diary  after  we 
returned  to  Fort  Defiance,  I  said  to  myself,  "Perhaps  I  shall 
live  to  see  old  Boxborough  again,  for  I  certainly  shall  not  allow 
myself  to  be  entrapped  by  another  lot  of  '  friendlies. '  " 

In  1855,  a  detachment  of  soldiers  under  Col.  Pope, —  who 
later  had  command  of  the  Union  army  in  the  Rebellion, —  was 
sent  out  to  survey  the  Southern  Pacific  R.  R.,  and  his  route  at 
that  time  was  nearly  identical  with  the  present  trend  of  the  road. 

At  the  end  of  five  years,  with  a  longing  in  his  heart  for  a 
sight  of  home  and  friends  in  his  native  town,  he  obtained  his 
discharge  and  returned  to  Boxborough,  bringing  with  him  as 
the  only  souvenir  of  his  eventful  life  at  tliat  time,  a  wound 
obtained  in  honorable  service. 

Mr.  Cobleigh  says:  "On  the  way  out  to  Fort  Defiance, 
scarcely  a  human  habitation  was  to  be  seen  from  Fort  Leaven- 
worth to  Santa  Fe ;  the  Great  West  at  that  time  was  just  being 
opened  to  civilization  ;  but  on  my  return  five  years  later,  the 
country  was  full  of  emigrant  trains  and  squatters,  and  dwell- 
ings were  being  erected  all  along  the  route." 

Mr.  Cobleigh  had  long  been  thought  dead  by  his  people, 
and  no  one  recognized  in  the  stalwart  young  man  of  twenty- 
two,  the  raAv  long-legged  youth  of  sixteen,  Avho  went  away  six 
years  before. 

July  3,  1858,  Mr.  Cobleigh  married  Rosella  Wetherbee, 
who  died  Jan.  8,  1864,  aged  23  years,  6  months,  3  days.     She 

114         Boxhoroujilt  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

was  a  daughter  of  Capt.  Andrew,  and  Mary  (Sargent; 
Wetherbee.  He  married  Salinda  Holden  of  Shirley,  for  his 
second  wife.     He  has  no  children. 

Ephraim  B.  Cobleigh  has  served  as  town-clerk  twelve  3^ear;> 
continuously,  fifteen  years  as  selectman,  and  has  filled  various 
positions  of  trust  and  responsibility.  He  has  been  connected 
with  town  business  for  twenty-nine  years. 


John  and  Caroline  (Hay ward)  Cobleigh  had  two  sons, 
Ephraim  and  Howard.  Ephraim  married  Harriet  Whitney, 
and  they  have  eight  children  ;  Charles,  Fred,  Nelson,  Melvin, 
Ora,  Hattie,  Alfred,  and  Herbert. 

John  Howard  Cobleigh,  l)orn  in  Boxborough  in  1826, 
married  Lucy  Ann  Johnson,  and  resides  in  Fitchburg.  They 
have  two  daughters.  Mr.  Cobleigh  is  a  jobber,  and  probably 
the  oldest  in  the  business  in  Fitchburg.  He  went  to  that  city 
in  1859,  and  having  purchased  a  half  interest  in  the  hrm  of 
Brown  and  Houghton  who  were  engaged  in  quite  a  prosperous 
jobbing  business  at  that  time,  he  remained  in  partnership  for 
three  years  and  then  })urchased  tlu;  entire  interest.  He  has  con- 
tinued in  tl^e  business  ever  since  with  the  exception  of  a  period 
of  two  years  when  he  Avas  prevented  by  illness.  Before  going  to 
Fitchburg,  he  had  charge  of  a  milk  car  from  West  Acton  to 
Boston  for  nine  years.  He  was  some  years  ago  connected  with 
the  fire  department  in  Fitchlnirg,  and  at  one  time  was  first 
assistant  engineer  and  fireman  of  the  hand  tire-engine  "  Con- 
queror." This  conueotioii  w.u  severed  about  the  year  1873. 
Mr.  Cobleigh  is  one  of  Fitchburg's  well-known  and  honored 


Francis  Conant,  the  eldest  child  of  Benjamin  and  Sarah 
(Randall)  Conant,  was  born  in  Stow,  Mass.,  Nov.  14,  1814. 
He  was  of  English  ancestry,  being  a  descendant  of  Roger 
Conant  who  led  the  pioneer  colony  that  settled  Salem  in  1628. 

He  spent  his  early  years  on  his  father's  farm  in  Stow,  and 
in  the  district  school,  which  afforded  meagre  advantages    for 

^ir-t7-?v^l    ~^(^r^^^^/^y^ 

Francis    Conant.  115 

education.  After  becoming  of  age,  he  attended  a  private 
school  in  Berlin,  Mass.,  for  a  short  time.  In  1841  he  married 
Sophia,  daughter  of  John  Goldsmith  of  Littleton,  and  having 
built  a  cottage  in  Acton,  in  the  vicinity  of  his  early  home,  he 
engaged  in  farming,  the  business  in  which  he  had  been  reared. 
Here  five  children  were  born  to  them,  Albert  F.,  Charles  H., 
Nelson  B.,  Julia  S.  and  John  G.  In  the  winter  of  1848  when 
only  thirty-four  years  of  age,  a  terrible  accident  occurred, 
which,  with  unskilful  surgical  treatment,  left  him  with  a  lame- 
ness from  which  he  suffered  until  the  close  of  his  life.  In  1850 
he  removed  with  his  family  to  Boxborough  and  settled  upon 
the  Wood  farm  which  bac.une  his  home  for  a  quarter  of  a 
century.  Here  the  five  younger  children,  Edwin  H.,  George 
F.,  Waldo  E.,  Adelia  M.,  and  Lizzie  S.  were  born. 

As  a  citizen  of  Boxborough,  he  was  active  and  interested  in 
everything  that  pertained  to  the  religious,  educational,  and 
business  welfare  of  the  town.  He  was  elected  to  many  town 
olfices,  having  served  as  auditor,  on  the  l)oard  of  overseers, 
assessors,  and  selectmen  —  at  one  time  as  chairman — for  a 
number  of  years.  For  several  reasons  he  ju'cferred  to  attend 
church  in  Littleton,  and  he  was  a  consistent  member  of  the 
Orthodox  Congregational  church  in  that  town.  By  his  thrift 
and  enterprise  he  was  able  to  give  each  of  his  ten  children, 
more  than  a  common  school  education.  One  son,  Charles  H., 
completed  a   college  course,  graduating  at  Dartmouth  in  1871. 

In  1874,  feeling  somewhat  the  infirmities  of  age,  he 
disposed  of  his  farm  and  removed  to  Littleton,  and  there,  four 
years  later,  he  died  at  the  age  of  G3  years.  His  life  was  one 
oi  hardsliip  and  suffering,  but  the  character  and  prosperity  of 
his  children  were  a  constant  scource  of  satisfaction  to  him  in 
his  declining  years.  Merchants  sought  his  sons  for  desks,  from 
which  positions  they  naturally  joassed  to  be  themselves 
proprietors.  Four  sons  are  merchants,  Albert  F.  and  Nelson  B. 
in  Littleton,  and  John  G.  and  Edwin  H.  in  Shirley.  Charles 
H.  has  been  a  lawyer  in  Lowell  for  many  years.  George  F.  is 
a  civil  engineer  in  Columbia,  Tenn.,  in  the  employ  of  the 
U.  S.  government,   and    Waldo    E.,    of   the    firm    of    Conant, 

116        BoxhorongJi :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

Houghton  and  Co.,  Littleton,  is  a  suspender  manufacturer. 
Of  his  three  daughters,  the  eldest,  Julia  S.,  is  unmarried  and 
resides  in  Bridgeport,  Conn. ;  the  second,  Adelia  M.,  a  teaclier 
since  the  death  of  her  husband,  George  A.  Parker,  is  at  the 
present  time  located  also  in  Bridgeport,  Conn.,  where  she  is 
engaged  in  the  Training  School  for  teachers.  The  youngest 
daughter,  Lizzie  S.,  married  Mr.  E.  B.  Parker,  of  Littleton,  and 
resides  in  that  town. 

Sophia  G.  Conant,  the  wife  and  mother,  died  Mar.  18, 
1878,  and  both  parents  are  laid  in  the  new  cemetery  at 


Stuai't  Park  Dodge  is  the  son  of  Silas  Parker  and  Catherine 
Park  (Kendall)  Dodge,  of  Waltham,  Mass.  Silas  Parker  is 
the  son  of  Samuel,  born  in  Ipswich,  Mass.,  Mar.  26,  1766,  and 
Mary  (Farnsworth)  Dodge,  born  in  Groton,  Mass.,  May  9,  1768. 
Silas  P.  was  also  born  in  Groton,  his  mother's  native  town, 
Apr.  2,  1812,  and  resided  in  that  place  fifty-eight  years,  until 
1870,  when  he  removed  to  Waltham.  His  sight  has  been  fail- 
ing him  for  some  years,  and  he  is  now  totally  blind.  Catherine 
Kendall,  born  in  Harvard,  Nov.  12,  1821,  is  the  daughter  of 
Enoch,  born  in  Shirley,  Aug.  7,  1795,  and  F^-jmy  (Shurtleff) 
Kendall,  born  in  Montpelier,  Vt.,  Oct.  1800.  Silas  P.  Dodge 
and  Catherine  P.  Kendall  were  united  in  marriage,  May  12, 
1842.  They  were  the  parents  of  four  children,  Edwin  Parker, 
who  died  in  1871,  in  Denver,  Col.,  where  he  had  gone  to 
regain  his  health,  Stuart  P.,  George  F.,  and  Frances  A. 
George  F.  was  formerly  a  resident  of  this  town,  having  lived 
upon  the  farm  now  occupied  by  his  brother.  Stuart  P.  was 
born  in  Gioton, —  as  were  all  the  other  children,  on  the  farm 
where  his  father  was  born,  and  where  he  lived  for  more  than 
half  a  centur3%- — and  spent  his  early  years  in  tliat  town.  He 
married  Miss  Saiah  J.  Farmer,  of  Harvard,  Mass.  Aug.  11, 

Mrs.  Dodge  is  the  daughter  of  Deacon  Emroy  and  Sophia 
(Raymond)   Farmer,  of  Harvard.     Mr.  Farmer  was  the  son  of 

Stuart  Park  Dodge.  117 

Thomas  and  Hannah  Farmer,  of  Littleton  Mass.,  and  was  born 
in  that  town,  Jan.  10,  1816.  Jan.  10,  1839,  he  married  Sophia 
Raymond,  daughter  of  Joseph  and  Rhoda  Raymond,  also  of 
Littleton,  where  she  Avas  born,  May  13,  1817.  They  made 
their  home  at  first  in  Sterling,  Mass.,  where  Sarah  J.  was  born, 
Nov.  17,  1850,  but  removed  to  Harvard  a  year  later,  and  there 
Deacon  Farmer  died,  Aug.  12,  1877.  He  had  been  a  deacon 
of  the  Baptist  church  at  Still  River  for  several  years.  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Farmer  were  the  parents  of  seven  children,  Elizabeth  B., 
Warren  A.,  who  died  in  infancy,  Nahum  IL,  Luke  W.,  Sarah 
J.  and  Almeda  P.  Elizabeth  Bowers,  married  James  Forrest 
Dadmun,  of  Harvard,  Apr,  28,  1861,  and  they  buried  their  only 
child  in  infancy.  Mrs.  Dadmun  died  May  20,  1866.  Mrs. 
Dodge  and  two  sons  are  the  only  surviving  children.  Nahum 
Harwood,  married  Miss  Ella  M.  Whittemore,  of  Worcester,  and 
they,  witli  their  two  children,  Grace  Sophia  and  Walter  Emroy, 
reside  in  that  city,  where  he  is  engaged  in  the  shoe  business. 
He  served  his  country  three  years  in  the  Federal  army,  enlist- 
ing Aug.  14,  1862,  in  Co.  (I.  36  Reg't,  Mass.  Vols.,  and 
receiving  his  discharge  June  8,  1865.  He  took  part  in  twenty- 
two  battles  and  skirmislies,  among  them  those  of  Cold  Harbor, 
Spottsylvania,  Fredericksburg,  Antietam,  IkiU  Run  and  Vicks- 
buig.  Luke  W.  Farmer  married  Miss  Ella  C.  Wliitney,  of 
Harvard,  and  removed  to  Somerville.  He  was  in  the  employ 
of  Messrs.  Adams,  Chapman  and  Co.,  of  Boston,  from  1869  to 
1883,  when  he  became  a  member  of  the  firm. 

Mrs.  Sophia  Farmer,  who  is  now  seventj^-four  years  of  age, 
makes  her  home  with  her  daughter,  Mrs.  Dodge.  She  is  a 
sister  of  Mrs.  Eliza  Davis,  of  Acton  Centre,  who  has  entered 
upon  her  eighty-fifth  year  in  quite  good  health  for  one  so 
advanced  in  years.  Tliese  two  and  a  brother,  Benjamin  Ray- 
mond, of  CharlestoAvn,  are  the  only  representatives  of  their 
family  now  living. 

For  a  time  after  their  marriage,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Dodge  lived 
in  Groton,  and  here  they  buried  their  oldest  child,  while  still 
an  infant.  Florence  C,  the  oldest  daughter,  was  also  born  in 
Groton.     Afterwards    they  removed   to   Harvard,    and  during 

118        Borhorovgh  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  Peoj^le. 

their  residence  in  that  town,  a  son  was  born  to  them,  Emroy  P., 
who  died  Feb.  19,  1885,  aged  9  years  and  8  months.  Mabel 
L.  and  Frank  W.,  tlie  remaining  chikben,  were  born  in 
Boxborough,  to  which  phice  the  family  came  to  reside  in  Nov. 
1876.  Their  dwelling  was  erected  by  Mr.  A.  W.  Wetherbee 
and  his  father,  Mr.  John  Wetlierl)ee,  in  186(5,  on  a  portion  of 
the  old  Phineas  Wetherbee  farm,  and  only  a  few  rods  from  the 
ancestral  homestead. 

Mrs.  Dodge  is  a  kind  and  sympathetic  neighbor,  and  an 
earnest  worker  in  the  cliurch.  Mr.  Dodge  has  held  the 
position  of  auditor,  also  of  moderator  at  town  meetings,  and 
was  elected  chairman  of  the  School  Board  of  Boxborough  in 
1887,  to  which  position  he  has  been  re-elected  for  four  consecu- 
tive years. 


The  Draper  family  dates  back  more  tlian  a  hundred  years. 
Their  ancestor,  I)Oston  Draper,  helped  to  })ay  for  the  "old 
Harvard  meeting-house  "  in  1775,  and  from  time  to  time  the 
Draper  name  ap])ears  on  record  in  various  responsible  positions. 
Reuben  Draper  built  the  house  where  B.  S.  Mead  now  lives. 
He  was  a  very  ingenious  man.  Simon  Whitney  Draper  built 
the  house  which  J.  F.  Hayward  now  occupies. 

Mr.  David  Veasie,  of  Boxborough,  married  Mrs.  Tryphena 
Draper,  who  is  connected  with  this  family.  Mr.  Veasie  was  a 
native  of  N.  H.,  but  came  from  Boston  to  this  town  when  a 
young  man,  to  search  for  employment.  He  worked  at  farming 
several  years,  and  then  married  Mrs.  Draper,  who  was  a 
Worster,  and  a  cousin  of  her  first  husband.  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Veasie  were  the  parents  of  four  children  :  D.  Boutwell,  Gran- 
ville, Sarali  J.  and  Charles  H.  Boutwell  Veasie  married 
Nellie  Berry,  and  is  a  resident  of  Port  Towusend,  Washington. 
He  graduated  at  a  college  in  Ohio ;  afterward  studied  law,  and 
was  admitted  to  the  bar,  but  never  practised  the  profession. 
He  is  engaged  at  the  present  time  in  the  store  of  the  Nolton 
and  Adams  Hardware  Co.,  Port  Townsend,  Washington. 
Granville  married  Miss  Cornelia  A.  Hayward,  of  Boxborougli, 


/^.  ./y/^^c-/^ 

John    Fletcher.  119 

and  they  are  settled  in  Elgin,  Illinois.  Sai'ali  J.  married 
Eugene  Berry,  and  resides  in  Peabody,  Mass.  They  have  no 
children  of  their  own,  but  have  an  adopted  son  and  daughter, 
Thomas  and  Belle.  Charles  H.  married  Hannah  Maria  Cob- 
leigh,  and  settled  in  town.  (See  Cobleigh  Family.)  He  lias 
filled  the  positions  of  school  committee,  selectman,  assessor,  and 
overseer  of  the  poor,  for  several  years 

Mr.  David  Veasie  owned  a  small  farm,  but  followed  the 
occupation  of  a  carpenter.  He  died  Jan.  2,  ISSt],  aged  72 
years,  10  months,  and  is  buried  in  the  lower  cemetery. 

His  widow  resides  upon  the  Cephas  Hartwell  i)lace,  which 
was  their  home  for  many  years. 


I  am  inde1)ted  to  one  of  the  Fletcher  family  for  the  follow- 
ing sketcli. 

John  Fletcher,  son  of  Peter  Fletcher  and  Lucy  Wood,  of 
Littleton,  who  settled  in  Philli[)ston,  Mass.,  was  born  July  11, 
1800.  He  married  Feb.  28,  1831,  Hulda  T.  Fletcher,  daughter 
of  Eleazer  Fletcher,  a  resident  of  Boxl)orough,  and  a  soldier  of 
the  Revolution.  Her  sister,  Khoda  F.,  married  Stedman 
Hartwell,  of  Natick,  brother  of  Squire  Cephas  Hartwell,  who 
was  a  respected  citizen  of  Boxborough,  and  held  office  in  that 
town  as  superintending  school  committee,  selectman,  assessoi-, 
treasurer,  and  town  clerk,  for  seventeen  years.  Stedman  Hart- 
well had  two  daughters,  Almeda  and  Martha,  and  two  sons  who 
became  geneials  in  the  War  of  the  Rebellion,  Alfred  and 
Charles.  After  the  close  of  the  war,  Alfred  became  Assistant 
Consul  at  Honolulu,  Sandwich  Islands,  and  also  practised  law 
therefor  a  time.  Charles  entered  the  regular  U.  S.  army  and 
died  in  the  service,  fiom  disease  contracted  therein.  Almeda 
became  the  wife  of  E.  Dix  Fletcher,  of  Lowell,  Mass.  She 
was  a  fine  teacher,  having  taught  in  Woburn  for  many  years. 
She  had  chaige  at  one  time  of  No.  4.  school  in  Boxborough. 
Martha,  who  has  been  as  a  motlier  to  her  sister  and  brothers, 
resides  on  the  home  place  in  Natick. 

120        BoxhorougJi :  a  Neiv  Engl  and  Toirn  and  its  People. 

Edmund  Fletcher,  brother  of  Hulda  T.,  married  Lucy, 
sister  of  John  Fletcher,  who  resided  for  several  years  in  Box- 
borough.  Their  sons  now  live  in  Lowell.  E.  Dix  has  been  a 
prominent  merchant  in  that  city  for  over  forty  years,  and  has 
l)een  a  member  of  the  City  Council.  Isaac  A.,  born  in  r>ox- 
borough,  was  City  Assessor  for  some  years.  He  is  in  the 
mercantile  business.  Maria  Fletcher,  sister  of  Hulda,  married 
Samuel  Wetherbee,  a  resident  of  Boxl)orough. 

E.  Dix  Fletcher  married  Mary  A.  Lovejoy,  of  N.  H.,  for  his 
first  wife,  and  they  have  one  daughter,  Mary  E.  Isaac  A., 
married  Mary  E.  Hand,  of  Barnstead,  N.  H.,  and  they  have  one 
daughter,  Anna  Dix. 

Eleazer  Fletcher,  brother  of  Hulda,  married  Rebecca  Kim- 
ball of  Littleton,  who  is  now  living,  in  her  ninety-  first 
year,  with  her  daughter,  Mrs.  Peter  Whitcomb,  of  Littleton. 

John  Fletcher's  wife,  Hulda,  died  June  8,  1838,  leaving 
one  daughter,  Hulda  A.,  who  died  in  1844.  July.  4,  1839,  he 
married  Matilda  Bowker,  of  Sudbury,  whose  ancestors  came  of 
a  patriotic  race,  having  taken  part  in  the  war  of  the  Revolution, 
and  that  of  1812.  The  names  of  their  children  are  as  follows: 
Josephine  M.,  John  H.,  Augustine  A.,  Edwin  Dix,  who  died 
when  three  years  of  age,  and  Ehvin  B.  Josephine  M.  was  a 
teacher  in  the  public  schools  in  Boxborough,  and  adjoining 
towns,  for  a  dozen  years,  six  years  in  her  home  district.  Since 
the  death  of  her  parents,  she  resides  in  West  Acton,  Avhere  she 
is  active  in  church  work,  and  social  and  literary  pursuits. 
John  H.,  who  was  in  the  War  of  the  Rebellion,  enlisting,  Oct. 
1861,  re-enlisting  in  1864,  was  Corporal  in  Co.  E.,  26th  Reg't. 
Mass.  Vols.  He  was  killed  in  battle  at  Winchester,  Va.,  Sept. 
19,  1864.  His  comrades  all  speak  of  him  tenderly,  as  one  who 
was  always  ready  to  do  his  duty  as  a  soldier,  and  was  loved  by 
them  for  his  manly  virtues.  Augustine  A.  was  also  a  volun- 
teer in  the  War  of  the  Rebellion,  having  been  a  lieutenant  in  the 
97th  Li.  S.  C.  Inft.  This  regiment  was  stationed  in  the  Gulf 
Department  He  was  in  several  severe  skirmishes,  where  men 
by  his  side  were  shot  down,  but  he  escaped  uninjured.  This 
I'egiment  did  guard  duty  at  the  forts,  for  several  months  after 

John  Fletcher.  121 

the  Rebellion  was  crushed.  Since  the  war  he  has  resided  in 
(leorgia,  where  his  father's  brother,  Dix  Fletcher,  also  lived  long 
before  the  w\ar.  Mr.  Dix  Fletcher  and  his  son-in-law,  Hon.  Henry 
Cole,  had  property  destroyed  by  the  rebels,  because  of  their 
union  sentiments,  just  before  Sherman  came  over  Kennesaw,  to 
Marietta,  Ga.,  on  his  way  to  the  sea.  ]Mr.  Cole  was  also  taken 
as  a  prisoner  to  Charleston,  S.  C,  and  was  not  released  for  more 
than  six  months.  During  this  time  his  health  became 
impaired,  and  he  lived  only  a  few  years.  Jan.  10,  1870, 
Augustine  married  INIargaret  S.  Boyd,  only  daughter  of 
Colonel  William  and  Tenie  Boyd,  of  Xashville,  Tenn.  Their 
residence  is  now  at  Atlanta,  Ga.  He  is  actively  engaged  in  the 
Georgia  pine  lumber  business.  They  have  two  daughtere,  ^lary 
Louisa  and  Maggie  B.  Elwyn  B.  resides  at  Fort  Scott,  Kansas, 
where  he  is  a  prominent  druggist.  Jan.  10,  1877,  he 
married  Sarah  H.  Redding,  of  Plain  View,  Minn.  At  this 
time  he  was  in  his  cousin's,  Mr.  Woodward's,  drug  store,  at 
Lawrence,  Kansas.  Miss  Redding  was  an  accomplished  teacher 
and  elocutionist  in  one  of  the  Lawrence  schools.  They  have 
two  sons  living,  John  Herbert  and  Freddie  Dix. 

Mr.  John  Fletcher's  occupation  was  farming.  His  theory 
was  to  have  a  fine  dairy  and  fruit  farm,  and  as  he  had  an 
energetic,  thrifty  helpmeet,  their  dairy  products  commanded  the 
highest  price  in  the  market.  He  raised  calves,  colts,  and  tine 
porkers,  and  having  rich  hill  pasturing,  it  was  profitable  also 
to  fat  oxen ;  so  by  wise  planning  and  careful  industry,  farm- 
ing was  made  to  pay.  His  townsmen  seemed  to  appreciate 
his  good  judgment  and  careful  forethought,  by  putting  him  in 
town  office  twelve  years  as  selectman,  assessor,  and  overseer  of 
the  poor,  and,  in  1851,  paid  him  a  high  compliment  by  sending 
him  as  Representative  to  the  General  Court.  In  1870,  his 
sons  being  in  other  business,  and  John,  the  one  who  intended 
to  take  the  farm,  having  been  killed  in  the  army,  Mr.  Fletcher, 
who  was  now  seventy  years  old,  felt  that  the  care  was  too 
much  for  him,  and  sold  his  farm,  (where  J.  W.  Hayward  now 
resides),  though  loth  to  leave  the  home  where  he  had  lived 
forty   years,    and   moved    to    Stow,    to  be    near    his    brother, 

122        Boxhorough  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  Peo])le. 

Mr.  Peter  Fletcher,  whose  companionship  was  very  pleasant  to 
him  in  his  declining  years.  His  wife  died  in  1871,  and  his 
daughter  resided  with  and  cared  for  him  until  his  death  in 
1881,  when  she  made  it  her  home  in  West  Acton. 




In  a  volume  entitled  "  Genealogies  of  the  Families  and  De- 
scendants of  the  Early  Settlers  of  Watertown,  Mass.,  including 
Waltham  and  Weston,"  is  found  the  following :  "  Hagar  :  In  the 
church  records  Rev.  Mr.  Angier  wrote  the  name  Agar.  Perhaps 
it  will  be  ascertained  that  William  Hagar,  of  Watertown,  was 
a  son  of  that  William  Hagar  that  was  admitted  freeman,  May 
18,  1631.  Both  names  are  found  in  England,  and  their  arms 
may  indicate  some  early  affinity,  a  lion  being  their  chief  charac- 
teristic." Mr.  Daniel  B.  Hagar,  of  the  Salem  Normal  School, 
who  is  a  great-grandson  of  Isaac  Hagar,  of  Weston,  says : 
"  The  two  names  are  probably  the  same,  as  they  are  in  the 
Bible.  As  the  family  was  among  the  very  earliest  settlers  of 
Watertown,  it  is  undoubtedly  of  English  origin.  I  noticed  in 
London  a  street  named  'Agar.'  I  do  not  understand  why  the 
different  branches  of  the  family  should  spell  the  name  differ- 
ently. As  a  scripture  name  it  is  always  spelled  in  one  way,  so 
far  as  the  last  syllable  is  concerned."  The  genealogy  in  the 
volume  referred  to  runs  thus :  William  Hagar  (Hager), 
married.  Mar.  20,  1644-45,  died,  Jan.  10,  1683-84.  He  had 
ten  children.  The  third  one,  Samuel,  was  born  Nov.  20, 
1647,  died,  Feb.  13,  1703-1704.  His  fourth  and  last  child 
was  Isaac,  of  Weston,  who  was  born  April  24,  1701.  He  married 
Prudence  Allen,  July  16,  1724.  He  had  twelve  children, 
the  first  of  whom  was  Isaac,  who  was  born  May  5,  1725.  This 
Isaac  had  four  children,  —  Phinehas,  Elizabeth,  Abigail  and 
Zilpah.  Phinehas  —  the  ancestor  of  the  Hagers  of  Boxborough 
—  married  Susanna  Leadbetter.      He  died  in  Weston,  August, 

124       Boxhorough  :  a  Neiv  England  Town  and  its  People. 

1817.  He  liad  nine  children, —  Daniel,  Nabby,  Phinehas, 
born  July  21,  1788,  Charles,  Helena,  Darins,  Maria,  George, 
who  died  in  infancy,  and  George  Otis.  Daniel  died  when  about 
seventeen  years  of  age.  Charles  lived  to  manhood,  and  died  at 
the  West,  Helena  married  Mr.  Hersey,  and  Darius  married 
Lucy  Wright,  and  had  eight  children,  of  whom  four  died  young, 
and  the  youngest  daughter,  Esther,  married  a  Burnham,  and 
died  several  years  ago.  Of  three  who  are  living,  George  is 
married  and  resides  in  California,  and  Augustus  P.  and  Baron 
Stowe  are  both  married  and  settled  in  Littleton,  Mass. 

Maria  Hager  married  William  Nottage,  of  Boston.  George 
Otis  married  Sarah  Day,  of  the  same  city,  and  they  had  five 
children,  of  whom  only  one  lived  to  mature  years.  He, — 
George  Otis, —  was  killed  in  one  of  the  last  battles  of  the  War 
of  the  Rebellion. 

Phinehas  Hager  and  Ruth  Stowe,  daughter  of  Manasseh 
and  Mary  (Whitcomb)  Stowe,  of  Hillsborough,  N.  H.,  were 
married  Nov.  1811,  in  Harvard,  by  Rev.  Isaac  Bonney, 
Methodist  minister.  Ruth  Stowe  was  born  in  Hillsborough, 
Dec.  8,  1788,  and  died  at  West  Acton,  May  9,  1880,  aged 
ninety-one  years  and  five  months.  Zions  Herald,  date  Nov. 
4,  1880,  gives  the  following  :  — 

"■  Sister  Hagar,  when  16  years  of  age,  upon  the  death  of  her 
parents,  came  to  Harvard,  Mass.,  to  reside  with  relatives. 
Here  she  became  acquainted  with  the  Methodists,  and  united 
with  the  church,  to  whose  doctrines  and  usages  she  became 
strongly  attached.  At  the  age  of  23  she  married  Phinehas 
Hagar,  of  Weston,  a  man  of  deep  and  ardent  piety.  Her 
husband  died  when  she  was  but  41,  leaving  her  with  seven 
children,  the  oldest  being  but  16  years  old.  She  was  a  woman 
of  strong  character,  never  yielding  a  point  where  she  considered 
herself  morally  right.  Her  cheerfulness  throughout  her  entire 
life  was  very  marked.  About  five  years  previous  to  her  death, 
she  resided  with  a  son  at  West  Acton  ;  here  she  was  near  the 
church  and  was  a  constant  attendant,  being  present  morning 
and  afternoon  in  all  weathers.  The  last  five  months  of  her  life 
she  was  partially  paralyzed,    but  so  kindly  cared  for  by  her 


George  Hager.  125 

daughter  and  son,  that  she  was  never  known  to  make  a 
complaint ;  all  her  wants  Avere  anticipated,  and  she  had  only  to 
answer  with  a  .smile.  Thus  ended  the  long  life  of  this 
Christian  woman,  and  affectionate  mother." 

Phinehas  Hager  died  Jan.  11,  1830,  at  the  early  age  of 
forty-one.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Methodist  chureli  referred 
to  in  the  history  of  the  town,  and  was  a  class-leader  many 
years.  He  owned  a  small  farm  in  the  southwest  part  of  liox- 
borough,  but  worked  at  the  business  of  a  shoemaker,  having 
learned  that  trade  of  Nathan  Hagar,  of  Lincoln.  The  home- 
stead was  burned  some  years  ago,  but  the  estate  is  still  in  the 
hands  of  George  Hager,  of  West  Acton,  one  of  the  sons. 
Phinehas  Hager  and  his  wife  Ruth  (Stowe)  Hager,  are  buried 
in  the  cemetery  on  the  hill.  They  were  the  parents  of  seven 
children, —  Solomon,  George,  Sarah,  Phinehas,  Mary,  Ben- 
jamin Stowe  and  Daniel. 

Solomon  Hager,  born  Mar.  28,  1813,  married  Lucy  Ann 
Fuller,  of  Vermont,  Mar.  14,  1837,  and  they  had  three 
daughters,  of  whom  one  died  young.  Helen  R.  married  George 
W.  Kimljall  and  went  to  St.  Louis,  where  he  was  connected 
with  Simmons  Hardware  Com^jany.  Mr.  Kimball  died  very 
suddenly  in  1889,  while  boarding  in  Swampscott,  Mass.  Lucy 
Ann  married  John  H.  White,  of  Chicago.  Mr.  Solomon 
Hager  served  as  superintending  school  committee  in  1839,  and 
was  chosen  representative  from  Boxborough,  in  1840,  and  1841. 
He  died  July  3,  1875. 


George  Hager,  second  son  of  Phinehas  and  Ruth,  was  born 
in  Boxborough,  Mar.  29,  1815,  and  resided  on  the  home  farm 
until  his  father's  death  in  1830.  For  four  years  afterwards  he 
lived  with  Joel  Whitcomb  upon  the  Burroughs  farm,  and 
most  of  the  time  until  his  marriage  worked  in  his  native  town, 
with  the  exception  of  two  years,  spent  in  Weston,  Mass. 
Apr.  9,  1850,  he  married  Sally  Mead,  of  Boxboi-ough,  and 
settled  in  West  Acton,  where  he  remained  one  year.  Return- 
ing to  Boxborough,  he  occupied  the  old  homestead  until  about 

126       Boxhorougli :  a  New  Enyland  Town  and  its  People. 

sixteen  years  ago,  when  he  again  removed  to  West  Acton, 
and  purchased  the  place  where  he  now  resides.  He  is  still  in 
possession  of  the  home  farm.  Mr.  Hager  was  selectman  and 
assessor  of  Boxborough  for  a  number  of  years,  and  performed 
the  duties  of  his  office  with  marked  al)ility.  Although  without 
offspring  of  his  own,  he  is  very  fond  of  little  children,  and 
always  has  a  kind  word  for  them. 

Sarah  Hager,  born  Aug.  1(3,  1817,  is  uiimarried  and  lives 
in  town. 

Phinehas  Hager,  born  July  8,  1820,  took  the  name  of 
Phinehas  A.,  and  went  to  Oberlin,  Ohio,  to  attend  school.  He, 
with  a  number  of  others,  went  out  from  ( )berlin  to  found 
Olivet  College,  Michigan.  He  married  Polly  J.  Edsell,  of 
Olivet,  for  his  first  wife,  and  the}^  had  five  children,  all  of 
whom  died  in  childhood.  His  second  wife  was  Mrs.  Sabra 
White,  of  Otsego,  Michigan.  He  enlisted  from  Otsego,  and 
entered  Company  B,  Nineteenth  Regiment,  Michigan  Infantry, 
in  August,  1862.  He  was  first  sergeant  of  his  company,  and 
acted  as  captain  for  quite  a  long  time ;  was  in  Libby  Prison  at 
one  time,  but  was  released  on  parole.  He  was  killed  Aug.  7, 
1864,  during  the  siege  of  Atlanta. 

The  first  Phinehas  Hagar  served  throughout  the  Revolu- 
tionary War.  He,  with  others,  came  up  from  Weston,  crossed 
tlie  Concord  river  in  a  boat,  and  joined  in  the  fight  at  Concord 
Bridge  ;  and  he  was  present  at  the  surrender  of  Cornwallis  at 

Mary  Hager,  born  Nov.  25,  1823,  married  Benjamin  K, 
Barnard,  Oct.  15,  1843,  and  settled  in  Harvard.  They  had 
five  children,  of  whom  three,  John,  Sarah  and  Mary,  are  now 
living.  John  married  Nellie  Green,  and  lives  in  Worcester; 
they  have  one  daugliter,  Esther;  Sarah  married  William 
Puffer,  buried  her  huslxmd,  and  resides  at  home  ;  Mary  married 
W.  J.  D'Ewart,  and  also  lives  in  Worcester.  They  have  two 
children,  llie  oldest  son,  Charles,  died  when  about  a  year  old, 
and  the  youngest,  Charles  Wesley,  a  student  at  Lawrence 
Academy,  (Iroton,  died  when  a  little  more  than  seventeen. 


Benjamin   Stotve  Hager.  127 


Benjamin  Stowe  Hager  was  born  in  Boxborough,  Feb.  28 1 
1826.  When  eight  years  of  age,  he  went  to  Harvard  for  the 
summer  and  autumn,  and  attended  school  in  that  town.  At 
twelve  years  of  age  he  again  went  to  Harvard,  and  remained 
there  two  years  with  Phinehas  Wetherbee.  Three  years  later, 
at  the  age  of  fifteen,  he  united  Avith  the  Methodist  church,  to 
wliieh  allusion  has  been  made  in  the  town  history.  When 
seventeen,  he  Avorked  seven  months  for  Luke  Sawyer,  of 
Harvard.  In  the  fall  of  1850,  he  attended  school  at  Wilbra- 
hani,  and  tlie  next  year  purchased  the  Epliraim  Wliitcomb 
[)lace,  Avhere  he  now  resides.  Sept.  28,  1852,  he  married 
Elizabeth  Blanchard,  daughter  of  Simon  and  ^Nlary  (Keyes) 
Blanchard,  of  Boxborough. 

After  the  Methodist  church  was  disorganized,  Mr.  Hager 
connected  himself  with  the  Congregationalists,  and  all  his 
energies,  down  to  the  present  time,  have  been  directed  toward 
the  Avork  of  tliat  church.  He  Avas  chosen  one  of  its  committee 
even  before  he  became  a  mem])er  of  it.  He  has  used  his  talents 
as  a  teacher  in  the  Sabbath  school  successfully,  teaching  tlie 
youth,  the  young  men,  and  also  adult  classes.  It  Avas  his  custom, 
Avhile  his  children  Avere  about  him  in  the  home,  to  gather  them 
around  him  Sal)bath  mornings,  and  teach  them  the  Sunday- 
school  lesson  ;  and  this  duty,  far  from  being  a  burden,  Avas  a 
pleasure  to  him.  Four  of  his  cliildren  are  mendjcrs,  and  his 
eldest  son  is  a  deacon,  of  the  Congregational  church. 

Mr.  Hager  Avas  secretary  of  the  old  Lyceum  at  one  time, 
was  selectman  in  1856,  auditor  in  1859,  and  town  treasurer 
1860-63,  a  period  of  four  years. 

Benjamin  Stowe  and  Elizal:)eth  (Blanchard)  Hager  Avere 
the  parents  of  seven  children  :  Phinehas,  Avho  died  Avhen  eight 
years  of  age;  Mary  E.,  who  resides  at  home  ;  Simon  B.,  George 
H.,  Benjamin  O.,  John  M.,  and  Sarah  C,  Avho  died  when  a  year 
and  a  half  old,  Simon  B.  Hager  married  Lucie  C.  Gilson,  of 
Littleton,  and  is  settled  on  the  Whitman  Wetherbee  place. 
They  have  one  son,  Milton  Blanchard,  born  August  15,  1888. 

Poeim.  129 

THE     LEGEND     OF     THE     LIMERICK     BELLS. 

Slowly  toiled  the  young  Italian, 

In  his  sunny,  native  land, 
Many  years  of  patient  striving 

Spent  he,  on  that  far-off  strand. 

But,  at  last,  to  crown  his  efforts. 

Sweet-voiced  bells  before  him  rose  : 
Proud  and  happy  was  the  artist, — 

All  forgotten  were  his  woes. 

Near  the  lovely  lake  of  Como 
Stood  a  convent,  old  and  grey  : 

From  its  tower  high,  his  chime  bells 
Pealed  forth  sweetly,  day  by  day. 

O'er  the  waters  of  the  Como, 

Morning,  noon,  or  eventide, 
Wafted  was  th'  angelic  music 

Through  the  village  far  and  wide. 

There  th'  Italian  souglit  to  rest  him 

In  his  quiet,  happy  home, 
List'ning  ever  to  the  chiming 

Which  so  dear  to  him  had  grown. 

But  the  scourge  of  war  swept  round  iiini, 

And  its  desolating  hand 
Left  him  fortuneless  and  friendless. 

Homeless  —  in  his  native  land. 

'Mid  the  strife  and  wanton  ruin. 
Low  the  convent  walls  were  laid : 

And  the  bells  to  which  he'  d  listened, 
Since  they  by  his  skill  were  made. 

By  the  victor's  hand  were  carried 

To  some  foreign  land  away  : 
Chime  of  bells  no  more  at  morning 

Heard  he,  or  at  close  of  day. 

Old,  before  his  time,  in  sorrow 
Wandered  he  from  place  to  place. 

But,  while  growing  grey  and  feeble, 
Of  his  bells  he  found  no  trace. 

But  the  mem'ry  of  their  mu.sic 

Left  him  never,  night  or  day, 
Whether  through  the  crowded  city 

Or  the  forest  lay  his  way  ; 

180        Bo.rhoroiiijli :  a  New  Un(/h(nd  Toim  and  its  People. 

All  the  day  he  heard  their  chiming, 
And  when  sleep  had  closed  his  eyes, 

Still  the  tuneful  bells  were  pealing 
Forth  their  music  to  the  skies. 

Whether  on  the  ocean's  billow, 

'Mid  its  mighty  rush  and  roar. 
Or  beside  the  quiet  streamlet, 

Still  that  music  evermore 

To  the  lonely-hearted  wand'rer 
Whispered  low  of  peace  and  rest, — 

Of  the  joys  the  past  had  brought  him. 
When  his  loved  ones  round  him  prest. 

From  beyond  the  sea,  a  sailor. 

All  by  chance,  at  last  he  meets. 
And  of  chiming  bells  so  wondrous. 

He  had  heard  within  the  streets 

Of  far  Limerick  in  Ireland, 
Was  the  sailor's  changeless  theme; 

Lighter-hearted  grew  the  wand'rer, 
His  bells  must  the  sailor  mean. 

Up  the  Shannon,  sick  and  weary, 

At  the  closing  of  the  day. 
Sailed  the  wand'rer,  till  the  vessel 

Anchored  near  to  Limerick  lay. 

Shoreward,  then,  the  boatmen  rowed  him 
'Bove  the  smoky,  mist-robed  town. 

He  St.  Mary's  spire  saw,  rising 
Through  the  shadows  settling  down. 

Angel  voices  to  him  calling, 
Told  him  that  his  bells  were  there  ; 

And  he  prayed,  "  O,  let  me  hear  them 
Chime  forth  on  the  evening  air. 

'  Ring,  O  bells  !  once  more  a  welcome. 
As  I  near  yon  wave-washed  shore, 

Once  more  let  me  hear  your  chiming. 
And  my  pilgrimage  is  o'er." 

O'er  the  clear  and  quiet  waters 

Shone  the  light  from  off  the  shore; 

Fanned  his  brow  the  gentle  breezes, 
As  o'er  Como's  wave  once  more 


Then  the  music  of  the  chime  bells, 
From  St.  Mary's  turrets  high, 

On  the  evening  air  came  swelling 
Forth  in  sweetest  melody. 

Once  more  was  the  old  man  happy, 
As  he  heard  the  well-known  chime, 

Home  and  friends  beside  the  Como 
Saw  he,  as  in  olden  time. 

Resting  on  their  oars,  the  boatmen 
Listened  to  the  chiming  sweet. 

Which  to  hear  was  to  remember 
Till  the  heart  should  cease  to  beat. 

Then  they  sought  to  rouse  the  stranger 

But  he  lifted  not  his  head; 
Calmly,  sweetly,  he  was  resting, 

For  the  wanderer  was  dead. 


Depths  of  the  valley  the  clouds  hover  over, 
Drear  is  the  path  where  I  wander  alone ; 

Sadly  the  north-wind  is  sighing  and  sobbing. 
Sweeps,  through  the  tree-tops,  its  wearisome  moan. 

But,  over  yonder,  the  far  distant  hill-tops. 
Bathed  in  the  sunlight,  are  beckoning  on ; 

'  Haste  thee,  nor  stay  'mid  the  shadows  around  thee. 
Rest  from  thy  journey  awaits  thee  anon." 

'  Leave  thou  the  valley  ;  afar  o'er  the  hillside, 
Onward  and  upward,  there  lietli  the  way  ; 

Shadows  and  clouds  that  awhile  may  enfold  thee 
Soon  shall  be  merged  in  a  glorious  day." 

Fixed  are  my  eyes  on  the  heights,  over  yonder, 
Where  nevermore  deepening  shadows  shall  lower ; 

Cheered  by  the  view  of  that  fair  Land  of  Beulah 
Brighter  my  pathway  grows  hour  after  hour. 


From  the  gloomy,  frozen  winter. 

With  its  fields  all  robed  in  white ; 
From  the  storm-cloud,  dark  and  lowering, 

And  the  tempest's  wrathful  might ; 

182        BoThoroii(/h  :  a  JVew  England  Toivn  and  iU  People. 

From  a  land  of  ice-locked  brooklets, 

Silent  groves  and  leafless  trees, 
To  the  merry,  joyous  springtime, 

And  its  warm,  life-giving  breeze ; 
To  a  land  of  murmuring  streamlets, 

Warbling  birds  and  budding  flowers, 
Soft  green  paths  through  blooming  meadows, 

And  the  leafy,  woodland  bowers. 

From  the  weary  toil  and  striving 

Of  the  ever  changeful  years, 
From  the  waiting  and  the  longing, 

From  the  heart-aches  and  the  tears ; 
From  the  loving  and  the  parting, 

From  the  loneliness  and  woe. 
From  the  mounds  upon  the  hillside, 

Graves  of  those  we  cherished  so; 
To  a  land  all  lands  excelling, 

Rest  and  home  —  no  cold  to  blight. 
Meeting  ne'er  to  know  of  parting, 

And  eternal  life  and  light. 


Across  my  path,  one  sunny  day, 

A  heavy  shadow  came  ; 
On  all  before  so  dark  it  lay 

I  sought  the  path  in  vain  ; 
Awhile  1  thought  to  turn  me  back. 
And  seek  some  broader,  beaten  track. 

But  past  that  gloomy  shade  I  knew 

There  lay  a  city  fair. 
Whose  streets  were  gold,  and  pure  and  true 

The  beings  dwelling  there. 
He  who  that  city  would  not  lose. 
The  shadowed  way  must  surely  choose. 

Again  1  sought  for  it  with  care. 
While  from  my  heart  I  cried, 
'•  O,  lead  me  to  that  city  fair 

Upon  the  other  side." 
Then  came  there  One,  who  said  to  me, 
■  I  '11  be  thy  guide,  I  '11  go  with  thee. 

Poems.  133 

■  So  bright  and  sunny  was  thy  way, 

Thou  wast  forgetting  Me. 
Until  I  sent  the  shadow  gray 

To  hide  the  path  from  thee  ; 
I  made  it  o'er  thy  way  to  fall 
To  teach  thee  still  on  Me  to  call." 

O,  fellow  trav'ler !  look  above 
Whene'er  thy  path  grows  dim  ; 

Remember  that  thy  Guide  in  love 
Would  draw  thee  nearer  Him; 

And  surely,  if  thou'  It  ask  His  aid, 

He'll  lead  thee  safely  through  the  shade. 


One  golden  autumn  day  we  gathered  leaves, 

My  little  friend  and  I,  from  forest  trees; 

So  fleet  was  he,  that  with  my  sober  pace, 

I  could  of  my  young  friend  scarce  keep  a  trace ; 

A  yellow  leaflet  here,—  a  red  one  there. 

He  spied,  and  off  he  bounded  light  as  air ; 

O'er  rock  and  hillock,  or  perchance  a  wall, 

He  clambered  for  the  fairest  of  them  all ; 

In  forest  deep  he  saw  a  shrub  at  last. 

And  quickly  forward  to  the  .spot  he  passed ; 

I  hastened  on,  till  from  a  gentle  rise, 

I  saw  him,  hands  outstretched  to  seize  the  prize. 

Above  his  head,  in  colors  dazzling  bright, 
The  poison  sumach  met  my  startled  sight. 
'T  is  poison,  child,"  I  cried,  "  a  moment  wait," 

But  ere  I  reached  the  place  it  was  too  late  ; 

For,  lest  to  pick  them  I  would  not  allow. 

He  quickly  gathered  them,  bough  after  bough. 

So  't  is,  I  thought,  with  children  older  grown. 

They  cannot  let  forbidden  fruit  alone ; 

And  though  the  Lord  himself  should  say.  "  Forbear, 

They  grasp  the  dazzling  prize  as  false  as  fair. 

HERE     AND     THERE. 

A  little  weeping  over  glad  hopes,  perished, 

A  little  laying  down  of  work  begun, 
A  little  giving  up  of  treasures,  cherished, 

A  little  mourning  o'er  the  task  undone, 
A  little  bearing  of  the  burdens,  resting 

In  Him  who  ever  doeth  what  is  best, 
A  little  longer  here,  the  billows  breasting, 

Which  else  would  bear  us  farther  from  our  rest 

134        Boxborough:  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

And  then,  beside  the  quiet  crystal  river, 

'Mid  pastures  green  and  fair,  shall  we  repose  ; 
No  tears  shall  dim  the  eyes,  nor  sorrow  ever 

Shall  enter  there,  nor  aught  of  human  woes  ; 
The  Savior's  presence  makes  the  whole  land  glorious. 

And  there,  at  last,  we  '11  see  Him  face  to  face, 
When,  over  all  these  earthly  things  victorious. 

We  enter  in  to  Heaven,  our  dwelling-place. 


Does  thy  path  seem  to  thee  dreary  ? 

Look  above ; 
Lift  thy  heart  in  prayer,  nor  weary  ; 

Trust  His  love. 
Whatsoe'er  His  wisdom  sendeth, 
Though,  with  grief,  thy  heart  He  rendeth, 
Though  the  blessings  that  He  sendeth 

He  remove. 
All,  He  for  thy  good  intendeth  : 

Trust  His  love. 

Dost  thou  seek  to  know  what  lieth 

On  before? 
'Tis  enough  that  He  descrieth 

.  Evermore. 
Though  thy  feet  are  torn  and  bleeding. 
Take  His  hand  and  trust  His  leading; 
Jesus  knows  just  what  thou  'rt  needing 

On  this  shore  ; 
Faith  He  '11  give  thee  for  thy  pleading; 

Trust  him  more. 
Though  thy  cross  be  not  with  roses 

Strewn  today. 
Though  until  this  earth-life  closes. 

Dark  thy  way, 
Yet  beyond  the  night  there's  dawning 
Joy  that  cometh  in  the  morning  ; 
Press  thou  on,  thy  trials  scorning. 

On,  nor  stay  ! 
Thou  shalt  yonder  in  the  dawning, 

Rest  for  aye. 


When  the  breezes  of  summer  are  dying, 
And  the  winds  of  the  autumn  time  call 

Through  the  tree-tops,  with  moaning  and  sighing. 
Comes  the  season,  the  saddest  of  all ;  — 

Poems.  135 

When  the  birch  and  the  chestnut  are  turning 

From  the  mid-summer  green  to  the  gold, 
And  the  maples  are  glowing  and  burning 

In  the  depths  of  the  thick  forest  old; 

When  the  sumachs,  that  none  but  the  Master 
Thus  could  paint,  deck  the  copse  and  the  plain, 

And  the  golden-rod,  gentian,  and  aster, 
Fade  away  in  the  meadow  and  lane ; 

When  the  song  of  the  cricket  comes  faintly 

From  the  orchard,  the  hillside,  and  lea;  — 
For  "t  is  then  that  a  loved  one,  so  saintly. 

Speaks  once  more  a  sad  farewell  to  me. 

Like  a  dream  are  the  years  since  my  childhood, 

And  again,  with  a  dear  one  alone, 
I  am  treading  the  path  through  the  wildwood, 

With  the  mosses  and  ferns  overgrown ; 

1  can  hear  as  of  old  the  sweet  story 

That  she  told  me  that  bright  summer  day. 
Of  the  Savior,  of  heaven  and  its  glory, 

Which  await  all  the  righteous  for  aye. 

Then  she  said:  "Very  soon  I  am  going 

To  the  beautiful  Home  that  I  love ;" 
And  she  plead,  while  her  tears  fast  were  flowing, 

That  at  last  I  would  meet  her  above. 

I  renewed  the  grave  promise  I  made  her 

In  the  bright  summer  days  of  the  year, 
When,  at  rest,  in  the  autumn,  they  laid  her, 

'Neath  the  grasses  so  brown  and  so  sere. 

I  have  missed  her,  O,  how  I  have  missed  her  ! 

Since  they  took  her  away  from  my  gaze  ; 
And  my  heart,  every  year,  for  my  sister 

Yearns  anew,  in  the  sad  autumn  days. 

But  the  spring,  with  its  sunshine  and  showers, 

Will  awaken  the  buds  of  the  trees, 
And  will  call  forth  the  beautiful  flowers 

From  their  sleep  underneath  the  dead  leaves. 

And  as  nature  ariseth  in  gladness 

From  its  long  winter's  rest  to  rich  bloom, 
So  our  loved  ones,  o'er  earth  and  its  sadness 

All  triumphant,  shall  rise  from  the  tomb. 

Then  why  mourn  that  the  friends  God  has  given 

He  removes  for  a  few  weary  years  ; 
They  are  only  transplanted  to  heaven 

P'rom  the  garden  of  earth's  smiles  and  tears. 

136       Boxhorovgh :  a  New  England  Totvn  and  its  People. 

And  if  true  to  our  God,  we  shall  meet  them 
Over  there  on  the  "  livergreen  Shore," 

15y  the  dear  Savior's  side  we  shall  greet  them. 
To  go  out  from  their  presence  no  more. 

THE     GOOD     NOT     LOST. 

Do  we  feel  that  the  word  gently  spoken 

Is  forgotten  or  lost  where  it  lies? 
It  shall  rise  yet  again  as  a  token. 

For  the  good  that  we  do  never  dies. 

It  may  shrink  to  the  depths  from  earth's  pleasure 
As  the  bud  'neath  the  cold,  chilling  frost ; 

But  the  springtime  shall  bring  forth  its  treasure, 
For  the  good  that  we  do  is  ne'er  lost. 

Does  the  hand-clasp  so  earnest  and  kindly 
Seem  as  naught  that  we  do  to  relieve  ? 

It  may  comfort  a  heart  groping  blindly, 
It  may  soothe  where  a  cold  look  would  grieve. 

And  the  kind,  loving  thought  that  we  cherish. 
Bringing  peace  to  some  sad,  weary  soul, 

Giving  strength  to  one  ready  to  perish. 
Is  not  lost  while  the  ages  shall  roll. 

And  the  word,  and  the  act,  and  the  feeling, 
Though  they  seem  very  small  in  our  eyes. 

May  be  angels  of  mercy  revealing 

The  great  message  of  love  from  the  skies. 


I  see  it  now  as  when  in  youth, 
We  children  scampered  o'er  the  sill ; 

'T  was  rude,  ah  !  yes, —  and  all  uncouth. 
The  old  red  school-house  on  the  hill. 

'Twas  built  of  brick,  but  many  a  storm 
Had  beat  upon  those  red  walls,  bare. 

And  left  its  mark  in  rent  forlorn, 
All  plastered  o'er  with  zealous  care. 

In  entry  small  were  ranged  around 
Or  hook  or  nail  for  hat  or  scarf; 

And  there  at  merry  school-bell's  sound 
We  hung  them  up  with  shout  and  laugh. 

Poeim.  137 

Our  gleesome  words  we  scarce  could  quell 

Ere  teacher's  "  Hush,"  a  warning  gave, 
Then  quietly  in  line  we  fell, 

Oft  late  the  punishment  to  save. 

The  rough  pine  benches  lettered  o'er 

By  many  hands  in  idle  hours, — 
I  see  them  now  as  when  of  yore 

We  wreathed  them  round  with  wildwood  flowers. 

The  teacher's  desk  with  seat  so  high, 

Beside  the  black-board  where  we  toiled 
O'er  problem  hard, —  with  faces  wry. 

And  hands  which  chalk  and  tears  had  soiled. 

The  stove  that  stood  the  door-way  nigh, — 

The  "low  seat"  running  out  behind, — 
The  smoke-stained  walls  and  windows  high, 

On  memory's  page,  all  these  I  find. 

I  mind  me  how  a  summer  day, 

We  gazed  the  open  door-way  through, 
On  pasture  green  and  broad  highway, 

Where  often  passed  the  friends  we  knew. 

And  last,  not  least,  the  teachers  kind 

And  scholars  who  those  aisles  have  trod ; 
A  few  beside  us  still  we  find, — 

A  few  are  lying  'neath  the  sod. 

I  think  of  one  who  shared  my  seat. 

Beside  me  sat  in  every  class;  — 
But  nevermore  this  one  we  '11  greet, 

Until  we  too  from  earth  shall  pass. 

Another  faded  while  the  leaves 

Were  growing  crisp  and  brown  and  sere ; 
The  time  when  nature  round  us  weaves 

The  garlands  of  the  dying  year ; 

Upon  the  hill-side  gray  and  bare 

When  autumn  winds  were  blowing  cool, 
They  laid  to  rest  with  tenderest  care 

The  favorite  of  our  merry  school. 

The  Angel  Reaper  came  onCe  more, 

And  gathered  home  two  sisters  fair, — 
They  passed  them  to  the  fadeless  shore, 

Its  peaceful,  holy  joys  to  share. 

The  rest  who  met  within  those  walls, 

Are  scattered  over  all  the  land: 
A  few  preside  in  other  halls 

Of  learning, —  o'er  some  merry  band. 

138        Boxhorough  :  a  New  England  Toivn  and  its  People. 

And  each  pursues  his  chosen  way 
In  paths  of  wrong  or  paths  of  right ; 

Toils  on  the  tide  of  sin  to  stay, 

Or  sinks  beneath  its  curse  and  blight. 

May  not  our  work  be  but  begun, 
When  life's  great  school  at  last  is  o'er; 

And  may  we  all,  our  tasks  well  done, 
Rejoin  the  school-mates  gone  before. 

The  school-house  rude  no  more  is  seen, 

A  modern  one  now  marks  the  spot, 
But  yet  by  well-tried  friends  I  ween. 

Our  school-house  ne'er  will  be  forgot. 

I      MISS     THEE. 

I  miss  thee  by  the  little  stream 

Where  we  full  often  roved, 
Where  grew  the  flowers,  the  sweet  wild  flowers 

We  both  so  dearly  loved ; 
The  asters  blooming  on  its  brink, 

The  gentians,  Heaven's  own  blue, 
The  lowly  pink  gerardias 

All  lead  thee  back  anew. 
Methinks  their  hues  would  brighter  seem, 

Their  fragrance  be  more  sweet, 
Could'st  thou,  as  oft  in  other  days, 

Their  opening  beauty  greet. 

I  miss  thee  in  the  wooded  glen, 

Where  ferns  and  mosses  grow; 
And  in  the  long,  gray  fields  at  eve. 

Dear  friend,  I  miss  thee  so. 
Can'st  thou  remember  still  the  way 

Beneath  the  pine-trees'  shade, 
Where,  in  the  quiet  eventide. 

Our  feet  together  strayed  ? 
I  see  not  now  thy  welcome  form, 

I  tread  the  path  alone, 
Whilst,  in  the  branches,  zephyrs  sweet 

Are  sad-voiced  spirits  grown. 

I  strain  my  eyes  to  catch  a  glimpse, 

Adown  the  narrow  street. 
Of  her,  whom  oft  in  bygone  days. 

My  waiting  eyes  would  greet ; 
I  see  thee  not —  I  hear  thee  pass 

The  casement  by  no  more  ; 
I  cannot  hear  thy  gentle  voice 

Call  softly  at  the  door. 

Poerm.  139 

The  doors  are  barred,  the  shutters  closed. 

Where  I  was  wont  to  see 
The  well-known  faces  from  the  home 

Gaze  smiling  out  at  me. 
I  miss  thee  from  the  garden  walk, 

The  vine-clad  portico, 
And  'neath  the  trees  where  I  have  seen 

The  loved  forms  come  and  go. 

1  miss  thee,  miss  thee  most  of  all 

Within  the  room  of  prayer; 
No  other  e'er  can  be  the  same, 

Thy  place  is  vacant  there. 
I  miss  thy  words  of  counsel. 

Thy  gentle  words  of  cheer. 
Thy  hopefulness,  thy  trustfulness. 

Thy  love  which  knew  no  fear. 
The  place,  that  thou  beside  my  own 

Wast  ever  wont  to  fill, 
Has  waited,  as  for  thy  return, 

Is  empty,  waiting  still. 

I  miss  thee,  but  I  '11  meet  thee  soon. 

Beside  the  Living  Stream  ; 
On  those  fair  banks  all  grief  shall  be 

As  it  had  never  been  ; 
There,  sweetest  flowers  our  eyes  shall  greet. 

Of  amaranthine  hue, 
Upspringing  in  the  Heavenly  fields. 

In  beauty  ever  new. 
Our  hearts  shall  know  no  parting  there. 

No  grief  shall  ever  come  ; 
But  in  that  Paradise  of  God, 
"  We  '11  dwell  with  Christ  at  Home." 


The  gloom  is  dense ;  the  darkness  fills 

The  world  with  deepest  shades  of  night 

The  dawn  begins  ;  Judea's  hills 

Are  bathed  in  its  effulgent  light. 

'T  is  morning  now  ;  o'er  all  the  place 

Where  erst  an  angry  mob  was  seen 

'T  is  quiet ;  over  all  the  race 

A  death-like  Stillness  reigns  as  queen. 

140         Boxhorour/h  :  a  New  England  Town  and  it  ft  People. 

The  place  is  hushed  where  Jesus  lay ; 
His  murderers  have  had  their  will ; 
Within  the  tomb  not  far  away 
The  smitten  form  at  last  is  still. 
The  women  come  with  trembling  heart ; 
"  Who  will  for  us  remove  the  stone?  " 
When  lo !  the  door  is  rent  apart, 
And  angel  guards  keep  watch  alone. 

"  I  know  your  errand ;  cease  your  fear; '" 

They  hear  the  shining  angel  say. 
"  The  Lord  is  risen  ;     He  is  not  here ; 

Come  see  the  place  where  Jesus  lay. 

Go  quickly,  His  disciples  tell 

To  Galilee  He  goes  before; — "' 

A  glad  refrain  the  breezes  swell, — ■ 
"  There  they  shall  see  His  face  once  more." 

"  Seek  not  the  living  'mid  the  dead, 
Lo  !  I  have  told  you;  go  your  way; 
The  Lord  is  risen  as  He  said." 
The  night  is  past;  't  is  break  of  day. 
"  He  lives  !  "  the  echoes  send  reply, 
"  He  lives  o'er  earth  and  heaven  to  reign  ;  " 
And  everything  in  earth  or  sky 
Repeats,  "  He  lives  !  He  lives  again ! " 

You  who  have  seen  your  loved  ones  die. 
Who  feel  the  bitter  pain  and  loss, 
Restrain  the  tear;  repress  the  sigh, 
Behold*  the  glowing  Easter  cross. 
The  Crucified  is  ris'n  to  reign  ; 
So  all  He  loves  shall  rise  again ; 
Let  saints  and  angels  join  the  strain, 
And  all  the  nations  say,  "  Amen  !  " 


I  gathered  them  upon  the  streamlet's  brink. 
Fringed  gentians,  blue  as  autumn  skies  o'erhead; 

Then  sat  me  down  beside  the  brooklet's  edge. 
And  thought  of  one  for  many  long  years  dead. 

I  gazed  upon  the  blue-fringed  petals  there, 
Until  the  present  day  seemed  lost  to  me. 

And  we,  the  children  then,  'mid  other  scenes, 
Roamed  field  and  wood,  all  careless,  glad  and  free. 

Poeim.  1-11 

We  gather  gentians  by  the  river  side, 

These  same  fair  azure  flowers,  she  and  I  ;— 
We  twine  them  o'er  our  desks  at  village  school,- 

We  lay  them  on  a  playmate's  grave  to  die. 
The  years  pass  on  ;  within  a  quiet  room 

A  wasted  invalid  is  lying  low ; 
A  gentle  hand  is  resting  on  her  brow, 

And  gentian  flowers  soothe  the  sufferer's  woe. 

And  then,—  the  fair  blue  blossoms  purple  seem, 

The  autumn  sky  is  blackness  grown  o'erhead : 
The  gentle  zephyrs  wailing  winds  become, 

And  I  am  left  alone  but  for  the  dead. 

Upon  a  pillow  of  the  purest  bloom, 

Traced  in  the  azure  blue  she  loved  so  well. 
Above  a  coffined  form  this  tribute  rests  : 
"  Dear  friend."     We  loved  thee  more  than  words  can  tell. 

The  flowers  on  the  earth  were  withering ; 

The  sun  had  run  its  course  ev'n  to  the  west; 
I  gathered  up  the  faded,  dying  flowers, 

And  went  my  way  —  once  more  to  home  and  rest. 


It  is  done  as  I  requested 

And  you  need  no  longer  stay, 
I  will  pay  this  little  trifle 

At  some  more  convenient  day." 
Quick  the  door  turns  on  its  hinges, 

And  upon  the  cold,  gray  stone, 
With  the  winter  sky  above  her, 

Stands  the  seamstress  —  all  alone. 

Hastily  the  bell  she  reaches,— 

But  she  falters  —  then  —  so  slow  — 
Turns  away,  and  down  the  pathway 

Staggers  on  into  the  snow. 
Bitter  winds  amid  the  tree-tops. 

Wailing,  moaning,  hurry  by, 
But  she  does  not  heed  their  voices  ; 

Hears  she  but  one  pleading  cry. 

"  I  'm  so  cold  and  hungry,  mother. 
Do  not  leave  your  Willie  long  ;  " 

"  Come  and  sit  beside  me,  mother. 
List  with  me  the  angels'  song." 

142         Boxhorough :  a  JVew  England  Town  and  its  Peoj)le. 

Well  she  knew  her  boy  was  dying  ; 

Sickness,  want,  their  work  had  done  ; 
And  "  the  crumbs  "  from  Riches'  table 

Might  have  saved  her  only  son  ! 

She  has  gained  the  narrow  alley, 

Passed  the  door  and  climbed  the  stair, 
Reached  the  side,  'mid  growing  darkness, 

Of  the  dear  one  waiting  there. 
Blaze  the  lights  in  wealthy  mansions, — 

But  no  taper  gilds  t/wi'r  gloom, — 
Christmas-trees  with  costly  fruitage, — 

Want,  dwells  in  that  attic  room. 

Hark !  the  city  bells  are  chiming, 

Listen,  mother,  to  their  lay  ; 
'  Unto  you  is  born  a  Savior, 

Christ  the  Lord  is  born  today. 
Glory,  glory  in  the  highest. 

Peace  on  earth,  good-will  to  men  ; ' 
I  shall  soon  be  with  the  angels, 

I  shall  hear  that  song  again." 

Bending  o'er  her  child,  the  mother 

Waits  for  him  the  glad  release  ; 
All  foi"gotten,  in  the  Presence, 

Weariness  and  hunger  cease. 
Still  the  bells  are  chiming,  chiming. 

Still  the  mansions'  Christmas  cheer. 
Still  the  moaning  in  the  tree-tops  ;  — 

But  the  King  of  Kings  is  Jit^rc. 

Christmas  morning  dawns  in  splendor. 

Merry  greetings  fill  the  air ; 
Loving  friends  round  happy  hearth-stone 

Meet,  their  Christmas  joys  to  share. 
Christmas  bells  still  sweetly  chime  them, 

But  the  angels'  song  begun, 
Changes  to  a  Welcome  Chorus 

For  the  mother  and  her  son. 


Written  for  the  Golden  Wedding  of  Mr.  and  Mrs.   Daniel  Dix,  Townsend,  Mass.,  Mar.  8. 

My  thoughts  through  vanished  years,  tonight. 
Flow  back,  along  Time's  rippling  stream, 
As  gentle  wavelets,  clear  and  bright, 
Glide  'neath  the  moonlight's  silv'ry  beam: 


They  lead  me  backward  fifty  years, 
Through  joy  and  sorrow,  smiles  and  tears. 

And  there  I  fain  would  pause,  at  last, 
And  view  that  scene  of  days  gone  by ; 
Two  hands  close-clasped,  a  promise  passed. 
And  then  two  heads  bent  reverently  ; 
Kind  wishes  said,  and  all  is  done. 
Two  lives  have  drifted  into  one. 

The  happy  days  to  years  increase, — 
The  quiet  years  of  hope  and  joy, — 
Ere  sorrow  comes  to  mar  their  peace. 
Or  mingle  it  with  Grief's  alloy ; 
Then, —  little  hands  crossed  on  the  breast, 
And  little  forms  laid  down  to  rest. 

And  so  the  cloudlet  veils  the  sun, 

And  so  the  sunshine  tints  the  shade. 

As  down  the  years  that  ceaseless  run. 

Thought,  flowing  on,  is  ne'er  delayed  ; 

Yet  two  familiar  forms  are  seen, 

Through  all  the  changeful  shade  and  sheen. 

And  children  loved  are  there  to  bless. 
With  merry  voice  and  happy  face  ; 
And  aged  ones  round  hearth-stones  press. 
While  still  the  years  roll  on  apace  ; 
Then, —  wedding  days  and  farewells  said. 
And  aged  ones  laid  with  the  dead. 

A  daughter  calmly  laying  down 
The  pleasures  of  Life's  springtime  fair. 
That  up  above,  the  promised  crown, 
She  may  with  joy  forever  wear. 
Time  passes  on  ;  it  will  not  stay. 
And  fifty  years  have  rolled  away. 

How  fast  these  fifty  years  have  fled! 
Yet  happy  years  they  've  been  withal, 
The  sun  e'er  shining  overhead, 
Ev'n  while  a  shadow  seems  to  fall ; 
A  God,  e'er  watching  o'er  our  ways, 
Whose  blessings  crown  our  earthly  days. 

And  now,  kind  friends,  to  meet  you  here. 
This  eve  of  early  spring,  have  come 
To  celebrate  with  words  of  cheer 
This  Golden  Wedding  in  your  home  ; 
Your  children,  relatives,  and  all. 
Unite  in  this  glad  festival. 

144        Boxhorough  :  a  Neiv  Eyigland  Town  and  its  People. 

May  many  years  of  quiet  peace 

Be  unto  you  an  earnest  given 

Of  fairer  days,  when  life  sliall  cease 

Amid  the  blissful  joys  of  Heaven  ; 

And  may  you  join  when  life  is  o'er, 

In  that  Blest  Land,  friends  gone  before. 

LOOK     UNDER     THE     DEAD     LEAVES    AND     YOU  'LL 

Beneath  the  dry  and  withered  leaves 

On  the  hillside  gray  and  bare 
We  find  the  pale  arbutus  flowers. 
All  dewy  wet  with  April  showers, 
Dewy  and  sweet  and  fair. 

Unseen  their  beauty  'neath  the  leaves. 
Till  the  eager,  out-stretched  hand 

Removes  the  leafy  canopy. 

Then  lowly  clustering,  we  spy 
Blossoms, —  a  fragrant  band. 

A  rough  exterior  often  hides 

From  the  gaze  of  passers-by, 
A  heart  of  truest,  purest  worth  ; 
A  noble  soul  of  heavenly  birth. 
Fragrant  —  its  ministry. 

But  when  we  search  beneath  the  leaves,- 

The  forbidding,  rude  disguise, — 
We  find  the  blossoms  fair  and  sweet : 
We  find  a  soul  for  glory  meet, 
Which  underneath  them  lies. 


If,  walking  'midst  life's  roses 

With  sunny  skies  above. 
Upon  our  brow  soft  breezes. 

Around  us  those  we  love ; 
Without  a  doubt  to  trouble 

Our  calm  unruffled  way, 
We  trust  to  God's  great  wisdom 

To  guide  us  day  by  day. 
Can  this  be  faith  ? 

Poeim.  Ul 

Ah  !  no  :  but  when  the  blossoms 

Are  dead  around  our  feet ; 
When  skies  are  dark  at  noon-day, 

And  all  that  makes  life  sweet 
Has  faded  with  the  flowers  ; 

If  then  no  doubt  intrude 
Of  Him  who  of  our  life-walk 

Has  made  this  solitude, 
Oh,  this  is  faith. 


On  a  brown  and  sheltered  liillsidc 

'Neath  the  trees  with  leaflets  sere, 
'Mid  the  mosses  and  the  lichens, 

In  the  morning  of  the  year, 
While  the  wind  of  early  springtime 

Through  the  pine-grove  sobs  and  grieves, 
Gathered  we  the  pale  sweet  flowerets 

From  their  nest  beneath  the  leaves. 
Fragrant,  frail  arbutus  blossoms, 

Waxen,  spotless  as  the  snow ; 
Just  as  sweet,  and  pure,  and  fragrant. 

As  they  were  a  year  ago. 

One  short  year  ago  and  round  mc 

Friendship  bound  her  silken  tliread; 
O'er  my  shadowy  way  her  radiance 

Like  a  living  glory  spread. 
And  the  rocky  path  and  thorny    • 

Smoother  grew  beneath  my  feet, 
And  beside  it,  just  beyond  me, 

Bloomed  hope's  flow'rets,  fair  and  sweet. 

But  the  springtime  merged  in  summer, 

And  the  autumn  days  drew  near ; 
Then  the  heavens  grew  dark  and  threatening. 

And  the  leaves  fell  brown  and  sere. 
Winter  came,  and  o'er  life's  landscape 

Fell  a  mantle,,  cold  and  white, 
All  the  radiance  and  the  beauty 

Shut  forever  from  my  sight. 
Spring  brings  not  to  me  the  friendship 

That  the  winter  stole  away, 
But  the  frail,  sweet,  springtime  blossoms 

Changeless  come  to  cheer  each  day. 

146       Boxhoroiigh :  a  Neiv  England  Town  and  its  People. 

The  earth  resplendent  with  the  golden  sunshine 
Lies  glorified  along  our  way. 


A  lesson  we  may  learn  of  thee, 

Thou  busy  brook ; 
To  tread  unmoved  our  narrow  way, 
Through  cloudy  or  through  sunny  day, 
Unheeding  all  the  world  may  say. 

Nor  backward  look. 

—  THE   brooklet's   LESSON. 

The  loving  thoughts  we  shelter  in  the  heart 
Upspringing  there,  the  blades  of  good  shall  grow, 
Which,  kept  by  watchful  care  from  weeds  apart, — 
The  evil  thoughts  we  but  too  often  sow, — 

Shall  flourish,  grow  in  strength,  and  soon  increase, 
And  we  in  life's  last  days  the  fruit  shall  see ; 
Reward  of  life  well  spent, —  eternal  peace, — 
For  "  as  our  sowing,  shall  our  reaping  be." 


Oftentimes  beside  the  quiet  lake, 

The  merry  children  searched  for  shell  or  stone. 
Or  wandered  in  the  meadow  after  lilies, 

Or  listened  to  the  water's  ceaseless  moan. 

Past  that  quiet  spot  I  roamed  today. 

But  sound  of  human  voice  I  could  not  hear; 
Where'er  I  sought, —  no  sign  of  human  presence, — 
Save  Nature's  murmur, —  silence  far  and  near. 

—  OUR   OLD   HOME. 

The  influence  of  every  word 

I  felt  for  either  good  or  ill, 
And  hearts  by  loving  thoughts  bestirred, 

A  kindly  influence  e'er  distil. 
And,  as  the  dew  upon  the  flower, 
So  falls  on  man  its  magic  power. 


The  day,  with  its  cares,  is  closing. 
And  the  twilight  shades  enfold 

The  gray  old  hills. 

The  rocks  and  rills. 
And  the  pines  beyond  the  wold. 

The  Hager  Family.  14' 

A  quiet,  all  calm  and  holy, 
O'er  the  world  is  resting  low, 

As  if  apart 

To  lift  the  heart 
From  its  earthly  care  and  woe. 

—  WORK  FOR   GOD. 

Few  her  years  and  full  of  sorrow, 

Yet  across  the  pale,  sweet  face. 
Not  a  shadow  comes  to  borrow 

Aught  of  all  its  trust  and  grace. 

—  A   TALE   OF    BRITTANY. 

Ah  !  we  know  not ;  yet  God  knoweth, 

Wisely  hath  he  planned  it  all ; 
Sow  thy  seed,  then  wait  with  patience 

Till  God's  rain  and  sunshine  fall ; 
Springing  forth  but  at  His  bidding 

It  shall  surely  hear  His  call. 

—  sow   THE   SEED. 

— when  at  last 

The  trial's  past 
The  soul  shall  purer  be, 

And  brighter  shine. 

Through  coming  time, 
For  sorrow's  ministry. 


And  the  deep  blue  heavens  low-bending. 

Seem  to  bless  the  woodland  bowers, 
Bidding  them  awake  from  slumber 

'Midst  the  gentle  April  showers. 


George  H.  Hager  married  Florence  E.  Albee,  of  Clinton, 
and  they  have  two  daughters,  Mabel  Elizabeth  and  Mary  Alice. 
George  H.  and  Benjamin  O.  Hager  are  engaged  in  the  grocery 
business  in  Clinton.  John  M.  Hager  married  Mattie  L.  Coan, 
of  Soraerville,  and  resides  in  that  place.  They  have  a 
daughter,  Mildred  Rich,  and  a  son,  Clayton  Marden. 

Daniel  Hager,  the  youngest  son  .of  Phinehas  and  Ruth 
Hager,  born  Feb.  10,  1829,  married  Maria  H.  Nottage,  of  Stark, 

148        Boxhorough  :  a  New  England  Toivn  and  its  People. 

Maine,  and  went  to  Kansas  where  they  remained  eight  years. 
They  were  the  parents  of  five  chikU'en,  of  whom  four  are  living: 
Esther  J.  and  Ella  J.,  twin  girls,  William  IT.  and  Herhert  W. 
They  are  now  settled  in  Wendell,  Mass.  William  II.  married 
Miss  Margaret  Cope  and  resides  in  TuUy,  Mass.  They  have 
two  children. 






Mr.  James  Rule  Hayden  has  lived  upon  the  farm  which  he 
owns  at  the  present  time,  for  fifty-one  years.  His  grandfather, 
Peter  Wheeler,  who  was  born  in  1760  and  died  in  1846  at  the 
advanced  age  of  eighty-six  years,  formerly  occupied  the  place, 
and  at  his  death  left  it  to  his  grandson.  James  R.  Hayden  is 
tlie  son  of  Rufus  and  Nabby  (Wlieeler)  Hayden,  and  was  born 
in  Acton,  Mass.,  in  1824,  being  the  3'oungest  but  one  of  a 
family  of  five  children,  four  sons  and  one  daughter.  Mrs. 
Susan  C.  Fletcher,  of  Fletcher  Corner,  Acton,  is  Mr.  Hayden's 
sister.  He  came  to  reside  with  his  grandfather  in  1840,  and 
took  care  of  him  tlie  last  six  years  of  his  life.  Mr.  Wheeler 
Avas  thrice  married.  His  first  wife,  Mr.  Hayden's  grandmother, 
was  Abigail  Tuttle  of  Acton,  and  Nabby  was  one  of  a  family 
of  thirteen.  Mr.  Peter  Wheeler  served  as  a  major  drummer  in 
the  Revolutionary  War.  He  lies  buried  in  the  cemetery  at  the 
south  part  of  the  town. 

Mr.  James  R.  Hayden  married  for  his  first  wife.  Miss  Aro- 
line  Dickey,  of  China,  Me.,  and  they  were  the  parents  of  three 
children,  Orville  J.,  William  H.  and  Nellie  A.  Orville  J. 
Hayden  married  Miss  Mary  Stone,  of  Royalston,  Mass.,  and 
they  have  one  daughter,  Harriet  Edith.  They  reside  in 
Somerville,  Mass.,  where  Mr.  Hayden  is  employed  by  the 
Adams  Express  Co.  William  H.  Hayden  married  Miss  Flora 
Strickland,     of    Lowell,     Mass.,    and    they,  with     their    three 

150        Boxhorough  :  a  Neiv  Eyigland  Town  and  its  People. 

children,  Arthur  A.,  Florence  A.,  and  George,  are  settled  at 
East  Acton.  Nellie  A.  Hayden  married  Mr.  Frederic  Norris, 
of  Boston,  and  removed  to  Medford,  Mass.  Mr.  Norris  is  a 
painter  in  that  place.  They  have  three  sons,  Ernest,  Frank, 
and  Harold. 

Mr.  James  K.  Hayden  married  for  his  second  wife.  Miss 
Harriet  Sargent,  daughter  of  Elijah  and  Ahiah  (Foster) 
Sargent,  of  Denville,  Vt.  She  was  the  j^oungest  of  a  family  of 
eight  children. 

Mr.  Hayden's  brick  dwelling  is  situated  at  the  junction  of 
the  old  turnpike  and  the  Stow  road,  and  in  close  proximity  to 
the  Congregational  church  and  parsonage.  He  has  been  sexton 
of  the  church  twenty-eight  years.  He  has  always  been  an 
industrious  man,  and  the  farm  of  his  ancestors  has  improved 
under  his  hands. 

In  Peter  Wheeler's  time,  a  blacksmith's  shop  arose  on  the 
site  of  the  present  parsonage.  The  house  in  which  he  lived 
was  situated  on  the  common  in  front  of  Mr.  Hayden's  dwelling, 
which  was  built  about  sixty  years  ago.  An  old  well  marks  the 
spot.  After  the  erection  of  the  new  edifice,  the  old  building 
was  removed,  and  forms  a  part  of  the  barn  on  the  premises  at 
the  present  time. 


I  am  indebted  to  ]\Ir.  Herbert  Nelson  Hayward,  of  Rowley, 
Mass.,  formerly  of  Boxborough,  for  information  regarding  the 
Hayward  family,  nearly  all  of  Avhich  has  been  selected  from  the 
"  Genealogy  of  the  Hayward  Family  "  whicli  he  is  preparing 
at  the  present  time. 

"  Georg  Heaward "  or  Hayward,  and  his  wife,  Mary 
(American  ancestors  of  the  Boxborough  Haywards),  were  one 
of  the  "  about  twelve  families  "  that  Rev.  Peter  Bulkeley,  of 
Odell,  England,  and  Simon  Willard,  a  merchant  of  Horsmon- 
den,  County  of  Kent,  brought  witli  them,  embarking  from 
London,  May  9,  103;"),  in  the  ship  "  Susan  and  Ellen"  (Cap- 
tain   Edward    Paine,   of  A\'api)ing,   England),    and  settled  at 

Tlie  Hayward  FumiJij.  151 

Musketaqiiicl  (Concord,  Mass.),  in  the  fall  of  1635.  He  was 
one  of  the  first  settlers  of  Concord,  and  had  an  allotment  of 
land  from  the  first  division  of  lands  of  the  original  grant,  by 
the  General  Court,  of  six  miles  of  land  square,  where  he 
built  a  house  and  barn.  In  1661  he  built  a  saw-mill,  afterward 
a  corn-mill,  at  what  is  still  known  as  Hajward's  ]Mills.  His- 
full  name  has  appeared  in  ancient  records,  in  addition  to  that 
above,  as  Gog  Heaward,  Georg  Heward,  George  Heyward, 
Georg  Heyward,  George  Heiward,  George  Heywood  and  Geo. 
Howard ;  but  Savage  in  his  "  Genealogical  Dictionary  "  says, 
"he  wrote  his  name  Heaward."  Georg  Heaward  and  wife  are 
quite  likely  a  branch  of  the  Haj^ward,  alias  Haward,  or 
Howard  family,  that  early  settled  on  the  Isle  of  Hartrey,  in 
the  northeast  part  of  Kent  County,  Dngland.  T]iii<  Hay  ward 
family  was  a  branch  of  the  very  ancient  and  original  famil}^  of 
Havard  or  Hay  ward,  alias  Ha  vert,  Heyward,  Haward,  Howard, 
of  Wales,  where  the  earliest  records  of  the  Norman  ancestor, — 
who,  it  is  said,  came  in  the  eleventh  century  from  Havre  de 
Grace,  the  seaport  town  of  Normandy,  in  the  northern  part  of 
France, —  are  found  to  be. 

"  Joseph ;  heaward,"  or  "  hayward,""  as  he  signed  his  name 
to  his  will,  Jan.  29,  1711,  was  the  second  son  of  Georg  Hea- 
ward and  Mary,  his  wife,  of  Concord,  Mass.  He  was  born  in 
Concord,  Mar.  26,  1613 ;  married(l)  Hannah  Hosmer,  of  Con- 
cord, who  died  Dec.  15,  1675  ;  (2)  Elizabeth  Tread  way,  of 
Watertown,  who  probably  died  1699.  He  died  Oct.  13,  1711, 
aged  71. 

Simeon  hayward,  of  Concord,  sixth  son  of  Joseph  and 
Elizabeth  hayward,  barn  in  1683,  married  Reljecca  Hartw^U, 
of  Concord,  in  1705,  died  May  18,  1719.  Dea.  Samuel  Hay- 
ward, of  Acton,  Mass.,  second  son  of  Simeon  hayward,  or  Hay- 
ward, and  Rebecca  (Hartwell)  Hayward,  of  Concord, —  born 
1713,  married  1739.  Mary  Stevens  died  Mar.  6,  1791,  aged 
77  years,  11  months,  1  da}'.  Paul  Hayward,  of  Boxborough, 
second  son  of  Dea.  Samuel  and  Mary  (Stevens)  Hayward,  of 
Acton,  born  Apr.  2,  1715,  married  Anna  White,  of  Acton,  July 
11,  1768,  died   May  16,   1825,  aged  79  years,  10  months,  17 

152        Boxhorough  :  a  New  Englmid  Town  and  its  People. 

days.  His  wife,  Anna,  died  at  the  advanced  age  of  91  3-ears, 
8  months,  24  days.  On  coming  to  Boxborough,  they  settled 
on  the  farm  now  owned  by  Mrs.  Eliza  A.  Hay  ward.  They  had 
a  family  of  ten  children  :  Anna,  Paul,  Sarah,  Mather,  Elizabeth, 
James,  Susannah,  Ebenezer,  Mary  and  Samuel  Hay  ward. 
Anna  married  Moses  Whitcomb  ;  Dea.  Paul  (1771-1841)  married 
Lucy  Whitcomb;  Sarah  (1772-1866)  married  Keuben  Graham  ; 
Mather  (1774-1850)  married  Lucy  Page,  of  Bedford ;  Eliza- 
beth (1776-1854)  married  (1)  Gates,  (2)  Whitcomb,  of  Little- 
ton ;  James  (1779-1846)  married  Eunice  Wood,  of  Boxborough  ; 
Susannah  married  Moses  Hartwell,  of  Littleton ;  Ebenezer 
(1783-1861)  married  Polly  Wetherbee  ;  Mary  married  (1) 
John  Wood,  (2)  Jonathan  Nource,  of  Boxborough  ;  Esquire 
Samuel  (1785-1863)  married  Sophia  Stevens,  of  Marlborough. 
Dea.  Paul  and  Lucy  (Whitcomb)  Hayward  had  fourteen 
children :  Paul,  Lucy,  Ephraim,  Joel,  James,  John,  Stevens, 
Samuel,  Hannah,  Eliza  Ann,  Joseph,  and  three  who  died 
young.  Paul,  Ephraim,  Joel,  James,  John  and  Samuel,  all 
settled  in  Ashby,  Mass.  ;  Lucy  married  John  Kimball,  of 
Littleton  ;  Stevens  married  Harriet  Johnson ;  Hannah  died  at 
the  age  of  twenty-four;  Eliza  A.  married  (1)  Ebenezer  W. 
Hayward,  (2)  Col.  John  Whitcomb,  both  of  Boxborough ;  and 
Dea.  Joseph,  born  Mar.  12,  1819,  married  (1)  Catherine  Walton 
Wellington,  and  (2)  Mrs.  Ellen  A.  Bezanson,  of  Chelsea, 
Mass.,  Sept.  30,  1884. 


James  Hayward,  who  married  Harriet  Poster,  and.  settled 
in  Ashby,  had  one  son,  Joel  Poster,  born  in  Ashby,  Nov.  8, 
1835.  He  remained  upon  the  farm  with  his  father  until 
twenty-one  years  of  age,  and  then  attended  school  at  Wilbra- 
ham  for  one  year.  Returning  home,  he  soon  after  came  to 
Boxborough,  remained  with  his  Uncle  Joseph  Hayward  a  short 
time,  worked  for  James  C.  Houghton,  of  Littleton,  a  few 
months,  and  then  upon  solicitation  returned  and  taught  the 
winter  term  of  the   South   school   in   Ashby.     hi  the    spring. 

Joel  F.  Hayirard.  153 

Mr.  Adelbert  Mead,  of  Acton,  engaged  him  to  work  through 
the  summer  for  Isaac  Whitney,  of  Harvard.  The  following 
winter  he  spent  in  the  employ  of  A.  and  O.  W.  Mead  and  Co., 
Acton,  of  whom  he  bought  a  farm  in  that  town,  where  he 
remained  twelve  years.  Afterward  removing  to  Boxborough, 
he  resided  upon  the  Stone  place  nine  years,  and  then  having 
purchased  the  farm  of  Col.  John  Wliitcomb,  he  removed  thither 
with  his  family. 

July  6,  1859,  he  married  Sarah  E.  Webber,  of  .Vshb}',  and 
they  were  the  parents  of  eight  children:  Cornelia  A.,  who 
married  Granville  Veasie,  of  Boxborough ;  Cordelia  E.,  who 
died  young ;  James  P.,  Stevens,  Joel  Foster,  Minnie,  Martha 
J.  and  Roland. 

Joel  Foster  Hay  ward,  Sr.,  was  for  ten  years  deacon  of  the 
Congregational  church  in  Acton.  He  taught  school  one  term 
in  No.  4  District,  1860;  and  he  has  served  the  town  as  super- 
intendent of  schools,  also  as  auditor  and  selectman. 

Deacon  Joseph  and  Catharine  (Wellington)  HayAvard  had 
two  children,  Josei)h  Warren  and  Lucie  Helena.  J.  Warren, 
born  Apr.  3,  1843,  married,  Jan.  29,  1874,  Margaret  A.  V. 
Hutchins,  of  Carlisle,  Mass.,  and  they  have  four  children,  Lena, 
William  W.,  Warren  and  Charles  M.  Mr.  Hayward  has 
served  the  town  as  selectman  and  assessor  for  several  years, 
also  as  school  committee.  Lucie  H.  married  Edgar  C.  Mead, 
of  Boxborough,  and  they  have  four  children,  Clarence  W., 
Eben  H.,  P^thel  W.  and  Catharine  L.  Joseph  Hayward  was 
deacon  of  the  Congregational  church  in  Boxborough  for  twenty- 
six  years.     He  died  June  22,  1888. 

James  and  Eunice  (Wood)  Hayward  were  the  parents  of 
nine  children :  Eunice,  Susannah,  James  Wood,  John  (who 
died  when  26  years  of  age),  Stevens,  Lucy  Ann,  Paul  (who 
died  at  the  age  of  twenty),  and  two  who  died  in  childhood. 
Eunice  married  Emery  Fairbanks ;  Susannah  married  Sewell 
Fairbanks  ;  James  Wood  married  Hannah  E.  Conant,  of  Acton, 
Mass.  ;  Stevens  married  Charlotte  Conant,  of  Acton,  who  was 
eighth  in  descent  from  Roger  Conant,  the  fii-st  Colonial  Gover- 
nor of  the  Massachusetts  Bay  Colony  at  Cape  Ann,  in  1624 ; 

154       Boxborough  :  a  JVew  England  Town  and  its  People. 

Lucy  Ann  married  Thomas  Burbeck,  of  Acton,  buried  her 
husband  in  1870,  and  is  now  living  with  her  brother,  Stevens 
Hayward,  in  Boxborough.  "  James  Hayward  "  says  William 
S.  Wood  in  his  "Wood  Genealogy,"  "was  named  for  his  uncle, 
James  Hayward,  of  Acton,  Mass.,  who  fell  at  Lexington,  Apr. 
19,  1775,  the  day  of  the  Concord  fight."  He  was  said  to  have 
been  an  excellent  man  and  universally  esteemed  by  those  who 
knew  him.  He  was  for  a  number  of  years,  selectman,  assessor, 
and  highway  surveyor  of  Boxborough.  Captain  James  Wood 
Hayward,  his  son,  resides  in  West  Acton.  He  has  been  active 
and  enterprising,  and  is  a  prominent  man  in  his  town. 

Stevens  and  Charlotte  (Conant)  Hayward  Avere  the  parents 
of  five  children :  Charles  H.,  who  died  in  infancy,  Herbert  N., 
J.  Quincy,  Clara  S.  and  Lottie  M.  Herbert  N.  married  Sarah 
P.  Baldwin,  of  Waltham,  and  they  have  one  son,  William 
Baldwin.  Mr.  Hayward  is  engaged  in  the  retail  grocery 
and  provision  business  in  liowley,  Mass.,  where  he  resides 
with  his  family.  J.  Quinc}^  a  graduate  of  Amherst,  class  of 
1882,  is  at  present  engaged  on  the  staff  of  the  Bunker  Hill 
Times.,  Boston.  Clara  S.  married  Charles  L.  Woodward,  of 
Landsgrove,  Vt.,  Mar.  25,  1884,  and  is  settled  on  the  home- 
stead place  of  her  father  in  Boxborough.  They  have  one  son, 
Harry.  Lottie  M.  married  Charles  V.  McClenathan,  of  West 
Rindge,  N.  H.     They  have  one  child. 

Stevens  Hayward  received  an  academic  education,  taught 
school  in  Boxborough  and  Acton,  and  finally  settled  on  his 
father's  farm,  where  he  has  lived  most  of  his  life.  He  was  a 
member  of  the  Boxborough  Light  Infantry  Company  when  it 
existed,  and  has  been  school  committee  and  highway  surveyor 
of  Boxborough. 

Ebenezer  and  Polly  (Wetherbee)  Hayward  had  seven 
children:  Ebenezer  W.,  Albert,  Mary,  Franklin,  Susanna, 
Anna  and  Paul.  Ebenezer  W.  married  Eliza  Ann  Hayward, 
daughter  of  Dea.  Paul  and  Lucy  (Whitcomb)  Hayward.  Dea. 
Albert  married  Eliza  Wetherbee,  of  Concord,  and  settled  in 
Acton,  Mass.  Their  two  sons,  George  and  Edwin,  reside  in 
AVest  Acton.     Anna  married  Ariston  M.  Hayward,  of  Bridge- 

The  Haytvard  Eamily.  155 

water,  Nov.  16,  1867,  and  removed  to  that  place,  where  she  now 
resides.  She  taught  school  in  Districts  Nos.  2,  3  and  4  in  her 
native  town,  also  in  the  Primary  and  Intermediate  or  Grammar 
schools  in  West  Acton.  Hon.  Paul  Hay  ward  married  Alice 
M.  Balcom,  of  Sudbury,  Mass.,  and  they  were  the  parents  of 
four  children,  Alice  P.,  who  died  in  infancy ;  Florence  M., 
Albert  H.  and  Cally  H.  Florence  M.  married  Maurice  G. 
Cochrane,  of  Melrose.  Albert  H.  is  master  mechanic  of  the 
Thomson-Houston  Electric  Company,  of  all  work  on  the  West 
End  Street  Railway  System,  Boston,  and  he  is  also  purchasing 
agent  for  the  same  company.  Hon.  Paul  Hay  ward  resided  on 
his  father's  homestead  for  many  years.  He  was  school  com- 
mittee and  deacon  of  the  Congregational  church  for  a  long 
time.  He  had  the  honor  of  being  sent  representative  from 
Boxborough  in  1871,  and  he  served  in  the  late  civil  war  for 
nearly  two  years.  On  account  of  the  sickness  and  suffering- 
experienced  while  in  his  country's  service,  he  was  granted,  in 
1885,  an  invalid  pension.  He  removed  from  Boxborough  to 
Reading  in  1864,  thence  to  Melrose  Highlands  in  1879.  In 
1887  he  went  to  Los  Angeles,  California,  and  entered  the 
employ  of  the  Los  Angeles  Electric  Street  Railway,  as  a  con- 
ductor.    He  is  now  temporarily  residing  there. 

Esquire  Samuel  Haywood  and  Sophia,  his  wife,  were  the 
parents  of  five  children :  Mary  Ann,  Louisa,  Samuel  Henry, 
Sophia  Lavina,  and  Susan.  Mary  Ann,  born  in  Boxborough, 
Apr.  19,  1815,  married,  Oct.  5,  1876,  Samuel  K.  Hildreth,  of 
Medford,  Mass.  Louisa,  born  Sept.  8,  1820,  married  Augustus 
Rice,  of  Marlborough,  and  settled  at  Rock-bottom.  She  is  now 
a  resident  of  Cambridge,  Mass.  Samuel  Henry,  born  Aug. 
13,  1823,  married  Louisa  Conant,  and  died  Dec.  6,  1884. 
Sophia  Lavina,  born  Nov.  12,  1826,  married  Isaac  Warren 
Fletcher,  of  Stow,  in  1851.  He  died  in  1863.  Susan,  born 
June  11,  1829,  died  Jan.  13,  1854,  aged  twenty-four  years. 
Esquire  Samuel  Hayward  lies  in  the  beautiful  family  lot  in 
the  lower  burying-ground  in  Boxborough,  and  his  only  son, 
Samuel  Henry,  is  also  buried  there. 

ir)G       Boxhorough:  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

Deacon  M.  E.  Wood,  in  his  centennial  sj^eech,  said  of  the 
six  Haywai'd  sons  who  removed  to  Ashby :  "'•  They,  and  their 
descendants,  exert  a  hirge  influence  in  all  that  pertains  to  the 
welfare  of  the  town,  both  agricultural  and  educational.  In  all 
the  work  of  the  church  they  are  generous  supporters ;  one  of 
them  at  his  death  left  a  generous  bequest,  that  these  blessings 
might  be  perpetuated."  The  obituary  notice  of  their  mother  is 
worthy  of  note  :  "  This  aged  Christian  was  a  pattern  of 
industry,  kindness,  meekness,  patience  and  piety.  For  three 
score  and  six  years  she  was  a  consistent  member  of  the  Congre- 
gational church  in  Boxborough  ;  her  eleven  children  joined  the 
church  of  their  mother,  and  two  of  them  became  deacons  in  it 
after  their  father." 

It  is  related  of  Dea.  Paul  Hayward,  grandfather  of  Dea. 
Joseph  Hayward,  that,  having  raised  a  good  crop  of  corn  one 
season,  a  thing  which  no  otlier  farmer  had  succeeded  in 
doing, —  seed  corn  consequently  being  scarce  and  high, —  he 
would  sell  only  half  a  peck  to  any  one  person,  rich  or  poor, 
and  that  at  the  rate  of  |'2  per  busliel. 

Dea.  Paul  Hayward,  the  father  of  Dea.  Joseph  Hayward, 
did  a  great  deal  for  the  Congregational  church  when  it  was  in 
its  infancy.  So  marked  were  his  efforts  in  this  direction,  that 
he  may  almost  be  said  to  have  been  the  founder  of  it.  Was 
money  wanted  for  one  purpose  or  another?  He  helped  to 
raise  it.  Were  there  arrearages  to  meet  ?  He  put  his  hand 
into  his  own  pocket  and  paid  them.  Was  a  house  Avanted  for 
the  pastor's  residence  ?  He  built  one  (Mr.  Peter  Whitcomb's 
present  dwelling)  and  gave  the  minister  the  free  use  of  it  dur- 
ing his  lifetime.  He  was  forward  in  every  good  word  and 
work.  After  his  death,  his  mantle  fell  upon  his  son,  Dea. 
Joseph  Hayward,  who  was  one  of  the  pillars  of  the  church 
in  Boxbarough,  and  will  long  hd  missed  from  his  accus- 
tomed place. 


John  Hoar,  born  July  18,  1791,  was  one  of  the  old  residents 
of  Boxborough,  and  formerly  occupied  the  house  where  Jerome 

John  Hoar.  157 

Whitney  now  lives.  The  artwell,  AMiitcomb  Hand  Whitney 
places,  were,  in  his  da}-,  all  in  one  farm.  He  married  Harriet 
Hartwell,  of  Littleton,  and  their  three  childi-en  aie  married  and 
settled  in  Hoxborough,  on  these  three  farms.  The  eldest 
daughter,  Harriet  P^lvira,  born  Nov.  7, 1816,  married  Mr.  Jerome 
Whitney,  Jan.  19,  1839,  and  resides  at  the  old  homestead. 
Caroline,  the  second  daughter,  born  March,  1820,  married  Mr. 
Granville  Whitcomb,  Mar.  4,  1841,  and  resides  near  b}'  on  a 
farm  which  was  once  a  part  of  the  original  homestead ;  and 
Simon  Hartwell  (Hoar J),  born  May,  1818,  married  Lydia 
Tuttle,  daughter  of  Nathan  Tuttle,  of  Littleton,  and  settled  on 
the  third  farm  taken  from  the  original  homestead.  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  Whitney  have  two  children  living,  Harriet  Elvira,  who 
married  Ephraim  Cobleigh,  of  Boxborough,  and  Ora,  ^yho  is  a 
teacher  in  Maiden.  Mr.  and  Mi-s.  Simon  Hartwell  have  buried 
three  children,  and  have  five  living,  Cora,  Florence,  Albert, 
Linus,  and  Edna.  Cora  resides  in  Boston.  Florence  married 
James,  son  of  Captain  Tuttle,  of  Acton  Centre,  and  is  a 
resident  of  that  village.  Albert  married  Nellie  Fitch,  and 
settled  in  Somerville,  is  in  the  milk  business  in  that  city,  and 
has  acquired  quite  a  property.  Linus  is  also  engaged  in  the 
milk  business  in  Charlestown.  Edna,  at  the  present  time,  is  at 
home.  ^Ir.  Simon  Hartwell  has  served  the  town  as  selectman, 
constable  and  collector,  and  auditor,  and  has  filled  the  positions 
of  assessor,  and  moderator  at  town  meetings,  for  man}'  consecu- 
tive years.     He  is  highly  esteemed  by  his  townsmen. 

John  Hoar  married  Betsey  Barker,  of  Acton,  for  his  second 
wife,  and  they  were  the  pai-ents  of  five  children  :  Cephas,  born 
Aug.  17,  1822,  Forestus,  born  Feb.  6,  1831,  John  Sherman, 
born  June  19,  1829,  Louisa,  born  Dec.  8,  1823,  and  one  who 
died  in  infancy.  Cephas  married  for  his  first  wife,  Caroline, 
youngest  daughter  of  Lyman  and  Jane  Bigelow,  and  for  the 
second,  Mary,  daughter  of  Capt.  Thomas  Lawrence,  of  VV^est 
Acton.  He  is  now  living  in  Norwood,  Mass.  Forestus 
married  Catherine  Gilmore,  and  resides  in  West  Acton.  John 
Sherman  married  Lydia  AVhitney,  sister  of  Jerome  Whitney, 
of  Leominster,   and  reared  a  family  of  six  or   seven    children. 

158        Boxhorough  :  a  Netv  England  Town  and  its  People. 

He  died  several  years  ago,  and  his  widow  is  a  resident  of  West 
Acton.  One  daughter,  Alice,  is  a  teacher  in  that  town. 
Three  of  the  sons  went  West  and  engaged  in  business  as 
builders  and  contractors,  and  another,  John  Hoar  of  West 
Acton,  is  an  architect. 

Louisa  Hoar  married  Jerome  Priest,  of  Boxborough,  Apr. 

20,  1843,  and  they  had  three  children,  Leon  A.,  Carrie  L.,  and 
Mabel  Barker.     Leon  A.  married  Clara  Louisa  Hartshorn,  Nov, 

21,  1866,  and  is  living  in  Seattle,  AVashington.  Carrie  L. 
married  Herman  Shepard,  Mar.  23,  1871.  They  were  the 
parents  of  two  children,  Leon,  who  died  Mar.  22,  1876,  aged 
4  years,  1  month,  10  days,  and  Clare,  who  died  Sept.  3,  1873, 
aged  3  months,  19  days.  Mrs.  Shepard  died  July  31,  1875, 
aged  22  years,  8  months,  18  days,  and  with  her  two  children 
is  laid  in  the  beautiful  famil}^  lot  in  the  hill  cemetery.  Mabel 
B.  Priest  is  a  teacher, —  at  the  present  time  in  Stow.  She 
is  a  gifted  musician.  Mrs.  Priest  is  sixty-nine  years  of ,  age, 
but  is  as  active,  and  energetic,  and  interested  in  all  public  or 
private  matters  of  moment  as  many  a  younger  person. 

Mr.  Priest  has  a  ver}^  retentive  memory,  and  can  relate 
many  things  with  regard  to  the  infant  town  and  its  people, 
with  entire  accuracy.  This  family  is  also  connected  with  the 
Wetherbee  family,  as  Mr.  Piiest's  mother  was  Sally  Wetherbee, 
Mr.  Simeon  Wetherbee's  daughter. 

Mr.  John  Hoar  was  usher  at  the  time  the  LTniversalist 
church  was  dedicated  in  1836.  He  died  June  18,  1872,  aged 
eighty-one,  and  is  buried  in  the  cemetery  at  Littleton. 


Mr.  William  Stevens  Houghton,  of  the  firm  of  Fogg, 
Houghton,  and  Coolidge,  Boston,  was  born  in  this  town,  June 
20,  1816,  and  lived  here  until  he  was  ten  or  twelve  years  of 
age.  He  is  a  son  of  Captain  Reuben,  and  Elizabeth  (Mead) 
Houghton,  and  was  reared  on  the  farm  recently  occupied  by 
Wm.  J.  Hayden  at  the  centre  of  the  toAvn.  His  parents  and  a 
brother  are  buried  in  the  cemetery  on  the  hill,  where  he  has 
recentl}^  laid  out  and  enclosed  a  beautiful  lot.     There  is  neither 


William  S.  Houghton.  159 

marble  monument  nor  slab  within  this  quiet  enclosure,  the  lot 
being  surrounded  with  a  finely  finished  granite  curbing  on 
which  the  names  are  inscribed.  When  questioned  with  regard 
to  the  absence  of  monuments,  he  said,  "  It  is  presumption 
to  raise  a  monument  to  man'"  He  lived  with  his  parents  in 
Littleton  for  a  few  years,  but  went  to  Boston  Avhen  about  six- 
teen years  of  age,  where  he  afterwards  became  connected  with 
a  large,  Avholesale  leather  firm,  which  was  running,  at  one 
time,  two  manufactories.  His  father  carried  on  business  as  a 
merchant  at  both  Littleton  Common  and  Littleton  Centre,  at 
different  times. 

Mr.  William  S.  Houghton  is  a  very  liberal  man,  giving 
generously  of  his  wealth  wherever  he  sees  an  opportunity  for 
doing  good.  At  the  time  he  was  in  town  attending  to  the 
cemeter}^  lot,  he  was  taken  by  his  cousin,  Mr.  B.  S.  ^lead, 
througli  the  Congregational  church,  which  was  then  being 
repaired.  Mr.  Houghton  asked  Mr.  Mead  if  there  was  any- 
thing they  wanted,  and  afterwards  contributed  the  organ  as  his 
share.  He  did  not  want  anything  said  about  it,  and  for  a  long 
time  no  one  knew  from  whence  the  gift  came,  exce})t  those 
most  intimately  connected  with  the  transaction,  but  just  as 
surely  as  a  person's  sins  Avill  "  find  him  out "  so  also  will  his 
good  deeds.  Mr.  Houghton  was  the  donor  of  the  Reuben 
Hoar  Library  building  in  Littleton.  It  is  said  that  Mr.  Reul)en 
Hoar,  formerly  of  Littleton,  once  saved  Mr.  Wm.  S.  Houghton's 
father  from  financial  embarrassment,  and  in  gratitude  for  that 
service,  the  son  gave  the  Lil)rary  building, — to  be  called  hy 
the  name  of  his  father's  benefactor,  "  The  Reuben  Hoar 
Library," —  at  the  cost  of  -110,000,  on  condition  that  the  town 
of  Littleton  should  raise  a  like  amount,  which  it  succeeded  in 
doing.  Both  Mr.  Houghton,  and  his  wife,  who  is  now  dead, 
were  trustees  of  Wellesley  College,  and  were  active  in  religious 
work,  Mrs.  Houghton  having  been  at  one  time  one  of  Mr. 
Moody's  assistants. 


Jacob  Littlefield,  of  Boxborough,  was  a  direct  descendant 
of  Stephen  Littlefield,  who  founded  the  town  of  Wells,  Maine, 

160        Boxhorough:  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

and  was  born  in  that  place,  June  10,  1808,  on  the  farm  where 
his  father  and  grandfather  had  lived  before  him.  The  home- 
stead, although  now  gone  out  of  the  family,  remained  in 
possession  of  the  Littlefields  for  many  generations.  An  inter- 
esting anecdote  is  related  of  the  grandfather  of  Jacob  Little- 
field,  who  Avas  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  Wells,  Maine,  which 
illustrates,  somewhat,  the  unsettled  state  of  the  country  in  those 
early  times.  He,  with  his  family,  lived  in  a  log  house,  as  was 
customary  in  those  days,  and  depended  for  their  safety  upon  his 
trusty  rifle,  and  a  brave,  powerful,  and  sagacious  dog.  Look- 
ing through  the  chinks  in  the  loosely  built  walls  of  his  dwell- 
ing one  night,  he  discovered  a  small  party  of  Indians,  a  dozen 
or  more,  engaged  in  peering  about  to  discover  the  best  mode  of 
ingress  to  his  home,  that  they  might  slaughter  himself  and 
family.  He  waited,  watched,  and  allowed  them  to  work  until 
he  decided  they  were  quite  near  enough  to  effecting  their 
purpose,  and  tlien  <piickly  and  quietly  opening  the  door  a  little 
way,  he  let  out  the  eager,  powerful  dog.  At  the  first  onset  of 
the  canine  brute,  the  Indians  fled  precipitately,  and  nothing 
more  was  heard  of  them  that  night ;  but  the  next  morning, 
small  pieces  of  Indian  blankets  were  discovered  and  picked  up, 
all  along  their  trail  for  (juite  a  distance,  where  the  brave  dog 
had  dropped  them  as  he  followed  and  worried  first  one  and 
then  another  of  the  party.  Some  little  time  after  this,  a  few 
apparently  peaceal)le  Indians,  having  occasion  to  pass  Mr. 
Littlefield's  house,  and  seeing  the  famous  dog,  cried  out, 
"  Here,  you,  Littlefield,  take  care  of  that  dog  ;  if  it  had  n't  been 
for  him,  we  should  have  had  your  scalp  that  night."  And  the 
family  concluded  that  they  were  of  the  party,  previously  so 
successfully  punished  for  their  temerity  by  that  same  dog. 
Jacob  Littlefield's  father,  whose  name  was  also  Stephen,  died 
when  quite  young,  and  his  son  Jacob  removed  to  Mass., 
residing  in  some  of  the  lower  towns  at  first,  and  coming  to 
Boxhorough  when  he  was  nineteen  years  of  age.  He  worked 
several  years  for  Samuel  Hay  ward,  Esq.,  on  the  place  now 
owned  and  occiqiied  by  Steele  Brothers,  and  seven  years  at  one 
time  for  Joseph  Blanchard,  Esq.,  on  the  place  now  owned  by 

Jar,>1>  Liftlefield.  161 

Steele  Brothers,  where  the  buiklings  were  recently  burned. 
XoT.  28,  1833,  he  married  Nancy,  daughter  of  Capt.  Oliver 
Ta3'lor,  of  Boxborough,  and  they  resided  with  his  wife's  family 
on  the  Varnum  Taylor  farm  until  his  death,  only  two  years 
afterwards.  They  had  one  son,  Sheldon,  who  is  now  a  resident 
of  California,  and  a  prominent  man  upon  the  Pacihc  slope. 
He  is  quite  wealthy,  and  has  been  for  some  years  a  member  of 
the  Legislature  of  that  State.  He  visited  his  father  and  his 
native  town  aljout  fourteen  years  ago,  a  year  before  his  father's 

Mr.  Littleheld  married  his  second  wife,  Ann  l^rooks  Ray- 
mond, of  I>oxborough,  June  10,  1838.  She  was  the  eldest  of 
the  four  children  of  Nathan  and  Betsey  (Cobleigh)  Raymond, 
who  formerly  occupied  the  Nelson  place  where  Mr.  Raymond's 
father  resided  before  him.  Nathan  Raymond  married  Hannah 
Hapgood  for  his  second  wife,  and  they  had  two  sons,  Ephraim, 
and  M.  Morton,  to  whom  allusion  has  been  made  in  connection 
with  the  Blanchard  and  AVetherbee  families.  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Littleheld,  immediately  after  their  marriage,  went  to  Wells, 
Maine,  Avhere  they  remained  live  years,  engaged  in  farming, 
during  wliich  time  their  oldest  son,  Waldo,  was  born.  When 
he  was  two  years  of  age,  they  returned  to  Boxljorough  and 
settled  on  the  Edmund  Fletcher  farm,  now  better  known  as  the 
Littleheld  homestead.  They  had  seven  children,  Waldo, 
Nahum,  Charlotte, — -  who  died  at  the  age  of  sixteen  years,  and 
is  laid  beside  her  father  in  the  cemetery  on  the  hill, —  Hanson, 
Susan,  Albert,  and  .Julia,  all  of  whom,  except  Waldo,  were 
born  in  Boxborough.  .Vll  are  settled  in  the  village  of  West 
Acton  except  Albert.  ^Irs.  Littleheld,  who  is  seventy-six  years 
of  age,  also  resides  in  that  village,  and  her  daughter  Susan 
remains  with  her.  Waldo  married  Nellie  AYitherell,  of  Wood- 
stock, Conn.,  and  is  engaged  as  a  carriage  manufacturer. 
Nahum  married  Adelaide  Hayward,  and  is  settled  on  a  farm 
near  the  village.  Hanson  married  Florence  Preston,  and  is  in 
the  grocery  business  ;  and  Julia  married  Willis  L.  INlead,  a 
painter  of  West  Acton. 

162        Boxhorongh  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

Mr.  Jacob  Littlefield  was  one  of  the  best  farmers  in  town. 
He  very  much  improved  the  farm  he  made  his  home,  having 
erected  all  of  the  buildings  that  are  now  on  it,  and  having 
planted  nearly  all  of  the  fruit  trees.  He  was  a  public-spirited 
man  of  energy  and  determination,  and  while  he  did  not  succeed 
in  amassing  great  wealth,  he  secured  a  comfortable  competence. 
He  was  connected  with  town  business  as  selectman,  assessor, 
and  overseer  of  the  poor,  for  seven  years.  He  died  Mar.  1, 
1879,  aged  70  years,  8  months,  21  days. 


Albert  Littlefield,  son  of  Jacob  and  Ann  B.  (Raymond) 
Littlefield,  was  born  in  Boxboiough,  May  8,  1856.  His  early 
education,  which  was  received  in  our  district  schools,  was 
supplemented  by  several  terms  at  Lathrop's  Latin  and  English 
school,  Waltham.  He  married  Miss  Jennie  A.  Heminway, 
Dec.  30,  1884,  daughter  of  Charles  A.  and  Carrie  f  Adams) 
Heminway,  of  Framingham,  and  is  settled  on  the  farm  of  his 
father,  in  Boxborough.  They  have  two  sons,  Charles  A.  and 
Earle  R. 

Mr.  Littlefield  is  serving  the  town  for  the  eighth  year  as 
selectman, —  as  chairman  of  the  board  the  present  year, —  is  one 
of  the  overseers  of  the  poor,  also  on  the  board  of  assessors,  and 
chairman  of  the  library  trustees.  He  was  an  active  worker  as 
Master  of  the  Grange  for  four  consecutive  years,  and  is  now 
lecturer  of  that  organization ;  he  is  also  a  member  of  the  Odd 
Fellows'  lodge  at  West  Acton.  He  was  interested  in  the 
Lyceum  while  it  existed,  having  acted  as  its  president,  and  is 
always  active  in  all  matters  pertaining  to  the  welfare  of  the 



CHAPTER    Xir. 




The  ancestors  of  the  first  Mead  families  connected  with  Box- 
borough  settled  in  Harvard.  Deacon  Oliver  Mead,  who  was 
living  here  in  1783,  and  Anna,  his  wife,  were  the  parents  of 
ten  children, —  Sarah,  Lucy,  Anna,  Oliver,  Jr.,  Abraham, 
Elizabeth,  Nabby  W.,  Samuel,  Hannah  (who  died  when  eight 
years  old)  and  Nathaniel.  Sarah,  born  Dec.  19, 1778,  married 
Levi  Houghton,  of  Harvard.  liucy  was  unmarried.  Anna 
married  William  Stevens,  father  of  Oliver  Stevens,*  of  Box- 
borough.  Oliver,  Jr.,  married  Betsey  Taylor,  who  was  an  aunt 
of  the  late  Capt.  Varnum  Taylor,  and  was  brought  up  on  the 
Taylor  place.  Abraham  married  a  Kimball,  from  Littleton, 
Elizabeth  married  Keuben  Houghton,  of  Harvard,  brother  of 
Levi,  and  after  her  death  her  husband  married  the  next 
younger  daughter  of  the  family,  Nabby  W.  Samuel  married 
three  times, —  Betsey  Stevens  and  Mary  Stevens,  of  Box- 
borough,  and  Lucinda  Conant,  of  Harvard.  Nathaniel  married 
Lucy  Taylor. 

Oliver,  Jr.,  and  Betsey,  his  wife,  buried  several  children. 
There  are  seven  living :  Betsey,  Sall}^,  Oliver,  Lyman,  Emorj^, 
Walter  and  Anna,  Betsey,  born  Nov.  10,  1815,  married  Peter 
Whitcomb,  and  settled  in  town,     Sally  married  George  Hager, 

*  Mr.  Oliver  Stevens,  the  son  of  William  Stevens,  is  still  living  on  the  old  Stevens 
estate,  in  the  southwest  part  of  the  town.  William  Stevens  was  school  committee  and 
selectman  quite  a  long  time. 

164        Boxho7'ongh  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

settled  in  Boxborough,  and  afterwards  removed  to  West  Acton, 
where  they  still  reside.  Oliver  married  Caroline  Wetherbee, 
and  settled  in  town  ;  their  oidy  living  cliild,  Sadie  A.  B., 
married  Alfred  Brown  and  resides  at  home.  Lyman  married 
Melissa  Willis,  of  Harvard,  and  they  have  two  children,  Lyman 
Willis  and  Emma  ;  Willis  married  Julia  Littlefield,  of  Box- 
borough  ;  Emma  married  Frank  Priest,  of  Harvard,  and  they 
are  both  living  at  West  Acton.  Emory  married  Eliza  Clement, 
of  Vermont,  and  settled  in  town ;  their  only  living  child, 
Frances  Annie,  married  Philip  Cunningham,  and  they  are 
settled  on  the  old  Stone  place.  They  have  four  children, 
Bernice,  Stella,  Wallace  P^mory,  and  Leo.  Walter  married 
Eliza  Jane  Chandler,  of  Maine,  and  is  living  on  the  Mead 
estate,  where  his  father  and  grandfather  lived  before  him ; 
they  have  three  children  :  two  sons  —  the  firm  of  Charles  H. 
Mead  and  Co. —  are  engaged  in  business  at  West  Acton,  and 
the  only  daughter,  Blanche,  is  at  home.  Charles  H.  married 
Jennie  P)ruce,  and  they  reside  at  West  Acton.  Anna  married 
William  Moore,  and  their  home  is  the  Bigelow  homestead  at 
the  centre  of  the  town. 

Samuel,  who  married  Betsey  Stevens,  settled  on  the  estate 
now  owned  by  Mr.  Charles  Brown.  They  had  three  children  ; 
Mrs.  Elizabeth  Ives,  of  Natick ;  Franklin,  who  married  Miss 
Nancy  Morse,  of  Mason,  and  died  in  Lunenburg ;  and  Ben- 
jamin Stevens. 


The  subject  of  this  sketch  was  born  in  Boxborough,  on  the 
Samuel  Mead  farm,  July  2,  1823,  and  remained  there  engaged 
in  farming  until  he  was  twenty-one  years  of  age.  The  follow- 
ing autumn  he  went  to  Natick  and  learned  the  shoemaker's 
trade,  but  after  remaining  a  j^ear  and  a  half,  failing  health  led 
him  to  return  to  Boxborough,  where  he  followed  farming  in 
summer  and  his  trade  in  the  winter  season  until  ill-health 
again  necessitated  a  change,  when  he  went  to  Littleton  and 
engaged  in  farming  for  eight  months  for  ]\ev.  William  H. 
White.     Sept.  19,  1847,  he  married  Kebecca  Louisa  Burgess,  of 


The  Mead  Family.  165 

Harvard.  After  his  marriage  he  removed  to  Natick  and 
engaged  himself  at  his  trade  for  a  short  time,  but  finding  that 
farm  life  was  better  suited  to  his  health,  he  soon  returned  and 
settled  at  the  old  homestead,  where  he  remained  until  1881, 
when  he  })urchased  the  l\eid)en  Draper  place,  which  he  now 
owns  and  occupies.  ^Ir.  and  ]Mrs.  Mead  have  two  children  : 
Edgar  C,  wdio  married  Lucie  H.  Hay  ward,  and  is  living  in 
l>oxborough,  and  iNIinnie  L.,  who  married  George  Y.  Kings- 
l)ury,  and  resides  at  Ayer.  ]Mr.  Mead  held  the  office  of  assessor 
and  overseer  of  the  poor,  and  was  selectman  for  twelve  years 
during  the  years  1864-84. 

Samuel  and  Mary  (Stevens),  his  second  wife,  had  only  one 
child,  Samuel,  who  died  at  the  West. 

Samuel  and  Lucinda  (Conant)  Mead  were  the  parents  of 
six  children :  Lucinda,  w'ho  married  David  Howe,  of  ]Maine  ; 
Albert,  who  married  Alwilda  B.  Crocker,  of  Maine ;  Alfred, 
who  married  Hannah  Maria  Miles,  of  Stow ;  Abby,  w^ho  is 
unmarried  ;  Anna,  who  married  Charles  Haiding,  and  lived 
onh'  a  few  years  after  her  marriage :  and  Mary,  wlio  died 
young.  Lucinda,  Albert,  Alfred  and  Abby,  all  reside  in  Natick. 
Albert  Mead  has  been  an  extensive  shoe  manufacturer,  and  has 
acquired  a  large  property,  but  has  now  retired  from  the  business 
and  is  living  upon  a  farm.  He  had  the  honor  of  representing 
liis  town  in  the  Legislature  three  years  ago. 

Nathaniel  and  Luc}"  (Taylor),  his  wife,  settled  on  the 
estate  now  owned  by  Mr.  Frank  AVhitcoml).  They  had  eight 
children  :  Nathaniel  (who  had  his  name  changed  to  Adelbert), 
Oliver  W.,  born  (Jet.  19,  182-3,  Sarah,  Maria,  Mary,  Anna, 
Varnum  and  Frances  Adelaide.  Adelbert  married  Almira 
Hoar,  of  Littleton,  and  resides  at  West  Acton.  Their  only 
living  child,  Estella,  married  David  Cutler,  and  is  living  in 
her  father's  home.  They  have  five  children :  Etta,  Ethel, 
Emma,  Adelbert  and  Azelia.  Mr.  Cutler  is  engaged  most  of 
the  time  in  Florida,  where  ]\lr.  Adelbert  ]\Iead  owns  an  orange 
grove.  Oliver  AV.  married  three  times;  May  22,  1851,  he 
married  Mary  E.,  daughter  of  Daniel  Hartw^ell,  of  Harvard. 
They    had   four   children,    Warren    H.,    born    Dec.  18,  1853, 

166        Boxhorough  :  a  Neiv  England  Toum  and  its  People. 

married  Lizzie  Blandon,  December,  1877,  died  Jan.  29,  1879, 
Julian  A.,  Emma  A.,  and  Nelson  A.,  who  died  in  infancy. 
Julian  A.,  born  Apr.  15,  1856,  married  Mary  D.  Emerson, 
Dec.  12,  1889,  and  settled  in  Watertown,  where  he  is  a  noted 
physician.  Dec.  24,  1881,  Emma  A.  became  the  wife  of  Geo. 
Sumner  Wright,  son  of  Mr.  Geo.  C.  Wright.  Oliver  W.  Mead 
married  for  his  second  wife,  Aug.  22,  1867,  Susan  A.  jNIorrill, 
with  whom  he  lived  only  a  few  months.  Jan.  19,  1869,  he 
married  Lucy  M.  Emery,  of  Jaffrey,  N.  H.  They  have  two 
sons,  Hobart  E.,  born  July  1,  1870,  and  Louis  Guy,  lx)rn 
Oct.  3,  1873.  The  younger  son,  Guy,  is  fitted  for  college,  and 
expects  to  enter  on  a  college  course,  if  his  health  will  admit  of 
it.  Both  sons  reside  at  home  in  West  Acton.  Sarah  Mead 
married  Mr.  Low,  of  Fitchburg,  and  they,  had  twelve  children. 
After  her  death  her  husband  married  again,  and  they  were  the 
parents  of  five  more,  making  a  family  of  seventeen  children. 
Maria  married  Andrew  Patch,  of  Littleton,  and  went  to 
Harvard ;  of  their  four  children  only  two  are  living.  Mr. 
Patch  died  about  twelve  years  ago,  and  about  three  years  ago 
his  widow  went  to  Charlestown  to  reside  with  her  son.  Mary 
married  John  J.  Lothrop,  and  lived  in  California  until  the 
death  of  her  husban  d,  a  period  of  over  thirty  years  ;  they  had 
no  children.  Mrs.  Lothrop  is  now  living  at  West  Acton. 
Anna  married  Charles  Twitchell,  of  Fitchburg,  and  they  are 
now  living  at  West  Acton.  They  have  one  son,  Clarence, 
who  resides  at  home.  Varnum  B.  married  Martha  A.  Keyes 
for  his  first  wife,  and  for  the  second,  Direxa  E.  Mead.  He 
has  three  children  by  his  second  wife  :  George  V.,  Fred  S.  and 
Adelbert  F. 

Adelbert,  Oliver  W.  and  A^Trnum  Mead,  carry  on  a  large 
business  at  35  North  Market,  and  35  Clinton  Streets,  Boston, 
under  the  firm  name  of  A.  and  O.  W.  ]\Iead  and  Co.  I  quote 
the  following  from  "  Our  Grange  Homes  ":  "  The  location  is 
considered  one  of  the  best  in  the  city.  They  have  cold  storage 
capacity  of  1,000  tons  at  West  Acton,  and  they  built  the  first 
large  cold  storage  house  in  Massachusetts  for  holding 
commission  goods.     On  the  Boston  premises  is  every  necessary 

The  Mead  Family.  167 

appliance  for  the  expeditious  and  efficient  handling  of  all  goods 
included  in  the  commission  trade,  the  utmost  efficiency  thus 
being  secured. 

"  The  ample  opportunities  given  by  the  long  period  this 
house  has  been  established  have  been  well  improved ;  a  steady 
reputation  has  thus  been  acquired.  The  specialties  are  butter, 
poultry,  eggs,  cheese,  fruits,  etc.,  selling  to  all  classes  of 
customers.  Two-thirds  of  the  business  comes  from  the  West 
and  Provinces. 

''  The  business  was  established  in  1844,  known  as  A.  and 
O.  W.  Mead,  taking  its  present  title  in  September,  1866,  by 
which  date  it  will  be  seen  that  this  is,  with  a  few  exceptions, 
the  oldest  produce  commission  house  in  Boston. 

"  The  early  life  of  Adelbert  was  passed  in  agricultural 
pursuits.  Young  Mead  was  apprenticed  to  a  shoemaker  and 
learned  the  trade.  In  1841  he  began  to  sell  shoes  in  Boston, 
and  it  became  convenient  to  his  neighbors  and  those  along  the 
route  from  Boxborough  to  entrust  goods  to  him  for  sale  on 
commission,  and  thus  the  present  business  was  eventually 
established,  he  taking  as  his  partner  his  brother,  Oliver  W. 
Mead.  They  at  first  had  a  large  wagon,  with  a  stand  outside 
Quincy  Market,  and  the  business  was  conducted  at  the  Market 
for  nine  years.  It  was  then  removed  to  50  North  Market 
Street,  and  to  the  present  site  in  1866.  Mr.  Mead  is  well 
known  to  the  merchants  as  a  man  of  unimpeachable  character 
and  high  aims,  and  he  owes  his  success  in  life  to  his  pluck, 
push  and  ability.  He  has  done  his  part  by  liberal  and  honor- 
able methods  to  place  the  house  in  its  present  position  in  the 
trade.  He  is  a  member  of  the  Chamber  of  Commerce,  and, 
with  Mr.  O.  W.  Mead,  also  is  a  member  of  the  Fruit  Exchange. 
He  is  interested  with  his  brothers  in  railroads,  and  also  in  live- 
stock in  Wyoming. 

"  Mr.  O.  W.  Mead  conducted  the  farm  until  twenty-one 
3^ears  of  age,  and  at  an  early  age  he  evinced  pleasure  in  intel- 
lectual pursuits,  and  on  reaching  his  majority  taught  school 
until  twenty-three  years  of  age  in  Lunenburg  and  Littleton. 
He    then  connected  himself  with  his    brother   in    the  present 

168        Boxhorough  :  a  JVew  EyKjlayid  Town  aixJ  ?Y.s-  People. 

business.  He  is  a  first-class  business  man  in  every  sense  of  the 
word,  and  has  always  manifested  marked  financial  ability.  As 
an  executive  he  possesses  great  power,  and  has  carried  system 
as  near  perfection  as  can  Ije  obtainable.  He  has  been  called 
upon  to  fill  positions  of  trust,  and  is  director  in  the  P'irst 
National  Bank  of  Ayer,  and  trustee  in  the  North  Middlesex 
Savings  Bank  of  the  same  town.  He  was  also  a  director  in 
the  Chamber  of  Commerce,  and  was  one  of  the  charter  members 
of  the  Produce  Exchange. 

"  Mr.  Vai-num  B.  ^Nlead  was  l)orn  on  the  farm ;  his  life  has 
been  varied.  When  nineteen  years  old  lie  went  to  the  Sand- 
wich Islands,  where  he  remained  five  years  ;  he  then  had  a 
valuable  business  experience  in  Fitchburg,  Montreal  and  Acton, 
shipping  from  Montreal  and  Acton  to  Boston,  and  mainly  to 
his  brothers.  He  came  to  this  city  in  18G6,  and  was  one  year 
on  salary  in  his  brother's  firm,  and  in  1867  was  admitted  to 
partnershi}).  He  has  a  large  circle  of  warm  personal  friends. 
Among  other  positions  of  trust,  he  is  president  of  tlie  Franklin 
and  Megantic  Railroad,  of  Maine." 


Mr.  William  Moore,  of  Boxl)orongli,  is  the  son  of  William 
(1782-1836)  and  Sally  (Hosmer)  Moore  (1793-1876),  formerly 
of  the  part  of  Sudbury  now  called  Wa^dand,  and  was  born  in 
that  town,  Feb.  23,  1818.  His  great-grandfather  Loring  was  a 
minister,  and  one  of  his  great-uncles,  Timothy  Moore,  Avas 
waiter  to  Geneial  Nixon  at  one  time,  and  afterwards  married 
the  general's  daughter.  His  grandfather,  on  his  mother's  side, 
was  Samuel  Hosmer.  Both  his  grandfather  Moore  and  grand- 
father Hosmer,  served  throughout  the  Bevolutionary  war.  Mr. 
Hosmer  was  only  sixteen  years  of  age  Avhen  he  entered  the 
service.  He  was  wounded  at  one  time,  having  had  a  ball  put 
through  his  arm,  but  his  life  was  preserved.  His  grandfather, 
William  Moore,  in  later  years  was  accustomed  to  relate  to  his 
grandchildren  many  an  incident  or  exploit  of  those  Revolu. 
tionary  days.     Indeed,  so  much  were  these  tales  enjoyed  by  the 

William  3Ioore.  169 

younger  generation  that  it  used  to  be  a  daily  subject  of  con- 
troversy as  to  which  of  his  grandsons  should  share  his  room  at 
night  and  so  obtain  the  privilege  of  listening  to  those  exciting 
narrations.  We  give  one  or  two  of  these  incidents  as  related 
by  his  descendants.  Wearied  with  marching,  and  being 
scantily  supplied  with  rations  upon  one  occasion,  grandfather 
Moore,  with  several  other  soldiers,  called  at  a  house, —  evidently 
inhabited  by  a  tory, —  and  asked  for  something  to  eat.  They 
would  have  paid  for  it,  and  were  willing  to  do  so,  but  the 
request  was  denied  by  the  lady  of  the  house.  They  determined, 
however,  to  have  food  before  going  farther,  so,  as  the  oven  or 
bakehouse  was  built  outside  the  main  dwelling,  they  waited, 
watched  their  opportunity  and  took  from  it  a  well-l)rowned 
baking  of  pies,  with  which  they  satisfied  their  hunger.  At 
another  time,  just  after  a  battle,  as  Mr.  Moore  was  passing 
along  the  battle-field,  he  came  across  a  British  soldier  Avho  was 
severely  wounded,  and  in  extreme  agony.  "  I  will  give  you 
my  gold  watch  if  you  will  only  put  an  end  to  my  life,"  said 
the  loyalist  to  the  patriot  soldier.  "No,"  said  Mr.  Moore,  "•  I 
cannot  do  that ;  you  must  keep  your  watch."  He  would  not 
strike  a  fallen  enemy. 

Mr.  William  ]\Ioore,  the  grandson,  came  to  this  town  about 
fourteen  years  ago.  He  married  Miss  Harriet  Willard,  daughter 
of  Ithamar  Willard,  of  Harvard,  for  his  first  wife,  and  four 
children  were  born  to  them,  Seraphina,  Francis  W.,  Arianna 
and  Albert  G.  Francis  W.  died  in  the  War  of  the  Rebellion ; 
Albert  G.  is  married,  and  with  his  wife  and  family  resides  in 
Stow.  The  oldest  daughter,  Seraphina,  married  Mr.  Augus- 
tine Whitcomb,  of  Boxborough,  and  died  Nov.  25,  1881,  aged 
41  jears,  1  month,  25  days.  Arianna  married  Mr.  Frank 
Lund,  and  is  living  in  Lowell.  They  have  two.  daughters, 
Carrie  A.,  and  Hattie,  both  occupying  responsible  positions  in 
that  city.  Mrs.  Moore  died  Jan.  1,  1879,  and  is  buried  in 
Stow.  Mr.  Moore  afterwards  married  ^liss  Anna  ]Mead,  of 
Boxborough,  a  most  estimable  lady,  kind-hearted  and  ever 
ready  to  help,  with  word,  act,  or  sympathy. 

The  late  Deacon  Silar?  Hosmer,  of  Acton,  was  a  brother  of 
Mr.  Moore's  mother.     Mr.  Samuel  Hosmer  had  a  family  of  ten 

170        BoxhoroiKjli :  a  Neto  EiKjland  Toivn  and  its  People. 

children,  of  whom  one,  Abner  Hosmer,  of  Lawrence,  is  still 
living  at  the  advanced  age  of  eighty-two  years.  Mr.  Moore 
was  associated  with  Mr.  Simon  Hartwell  and  Dea.  M.  E.  Wood, 
on  the  board  of  assessors,  for  six  or  seven  years,  from  '80  to  '88. 


Mr.  Joseph  H.  Orendorff  has  been  a  resident  of  this  town 
about  twelve  years.  He  was  born  Jan.  26,  1845,  in  the  south- 
ern part  of  Pennsylvania,  in  Adams  County, —  named  in  honor 
of  John  Adams,  second  President  of  the  United  States, —  only 
a  few  miles  from  its  capital,  Gettysburg,  and  within  view  of 
that  town  become  so  famous  in  American  histor}-.  His  early 
years  were  passed  on  the  farm,  varied  by  attendance  at  the 
district  school  only  during  the  winter  season.  At  the  age  of 
seventeen  he  enlisted  in  the  Federal  army,  where  he  served  nine 
months  in  the  IGotli  Reg't.  P.  V.  M.,  receiving  an  honorable 
discharge,  July  28,  1863,  at  Gettysburg.  In  November  of 
that  year,  he  entered  as  teacher  the  school  where  he  had 
formerly  been  a  pupil,  and,  at  the  close  of  the  four  months' 
term,  began  attendance  at  the  Normal  school  in  Gettysburg ; 
thus,  as  teacher  in  winter,  and  pupil  in  summer,  the  educa- 
tional processes  alternated  for  the  next  two  years.  In  1866, 
failing  health, —  an  effect  of  the  hardships  and  jnivations 
endured  while  in  the  army, —  warned  him  that  a  change  of 
occupation  was  desirable,  and  so  the  life  of  study  was  put  away 
from  him,  and  the  summer  seasons  given  to  out-door  employ- 
ments, although  the  winters  as  before  were  devoted  to  teaching, 
until  April  1,  1870.  At  that  time  he  accepted  a  position  as 
book-keeper  and  collector  for  the  firm  of  Goodwin  Brothers, 
Hardware  Manufacturers,  Philadelphia,  which  he  held 
until  March,  1873,  when  once  more  realizing  that  he  must  turn 
his  attention  to  a  more  active  business  life,  in  July  of  the 
same  year  he  entered  into  an  agreement  to  solicit  subscribers 
for  the  Daily  Advertiser  and  various  other  periodicals.  A 
year  later,  or  in  June,  1871,  this  engagement  terminated,  and 
on  account  of  the  hard  times  arising  from  the  panic  of  1873, 
no  permanent  occupation  was  undertaken  for  nearly  live  years ; 

Christopher  Page.  171 

then,  Apr.  15,  1879,  he  took  charge  of  the  ohl  Williston  farm 
ill  Boxborough, —  the  property  at  that  time  of  Dr.  James 
McDonakl,  of  Boston, —  which  he  afterwards  purchased,  and 
where  he  now  resides. 

August  18,  1880,  Mr.  Orendorff  married  Miss  Lucy  Ellis 
Allen,  daughter  of  Samuel  F.  and  Hannah  (Ellis)  Allen, 
of  Dedham,  Mass.  jNIrs.  Orendorff  was  born  in  that  town, 
June  7,  1857,  attended  the  district  school  until  thirteen  years 
of  age,  and  afterwards,  Rev.  C.  S.  Locke's  private  school  for 
four  years.  She  began  teaching  while  a  pupil  in  ]\[r.  Locke's 
school,  having  charge  of  certain  classes,  while  still  continuing 
her  own  studies.  After  completing  her  course  there,  she 
returned  a  year  later  and  taught  through  the  fall  term,  then,  in 
Aj)ril,  1876,  went  to  Dover  to  take  charge  of  a  school,  after 
which  she  returned  to  Dedham  and  taught  four  years  until 
the  time  of  her  marriage. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Orendorff  have  two  children,  Jennie  A.,  and 
Harold  E.  They  have  always  taken  an  interest  in  the  affairs 
of  the  town.  Mr.  Orendorff  was  chosen  President  of  the 
centennial  celebration  in  1883,  was  elected  a  member  of  the 
board  of  selectmen  for  three  consecutive  years,  and  has  served 
in  other  town  offices.     . 


Capt.  Christopher  Page  came  to  Boxborough  from  Bedford, 
where  he  formerly  resided.  He  married  Lydia  Wetherbee 
(daughter  of  Simeon  Wetherbee,  Mrs.  Silas  Hoar's  grand- 
father), and  they  were  the  parents  of  seven  children :  Mary, 
Lydia,  Christopher,  Dio  O  ratio.  Sylvan  us,  Ann  Maria  and 
Mary  Foster.  The  oldest  daughter  died  Nov.  24,  1826,  when 
eighteen  years  of  age.  The  wife,  Lydia,  and  the  remaining 
three  daughters  all  died  in  1829,  of  dysentery,  within  a  period 
of  twelve  days.  Mary  Foster  died  July  29,  when  four  years 
of  age;  the  mother,  July  31;  Lydia,  Aug.  8,  at  the  age  of 
eighteen  ;  and  Ann  Maria,  Aug,  9,  at  the  age  of  eight  years, — ■ 
a  singularly  sad  record.  Only  two  of  the  family  are  now  living, 
Christopher  and  Dio  Oratio. 

172       Boxhorougli :  a  New  E^igland  Toum  and  its  People. 

Mr.  Christopher  Page,  born  Dec.  16,  1815,  is  married  and 
has  two  children.  He  resides  in  New  York  at  the  present 
time.  He  still  visits  his  native  town  in  summer,  making  his 
stay  with  ]\Ir.  and  Mrs.  Priest. 

Dio  Oratio,  born  Dec.  29,  1817,  married  Snsan  L.  Barnard 
of  Harvard.  The  Page  family  once  occupied  the  house  where 
Mr.  Jerome  Priest  now  lives,  and  Dio  Oratio's  sons  were 
born  there.  Albert  Horatio,  the  eldest,  born  Feb.  21,  1840, 
is  proprietor  of  a  paper-mill  in  Holyoke,  and  carries  on  an 
extensive  business.  His  income  is  said  to  be  -flOO  a  day. 
He  married  the  daughter  of  the  former  mill-owner,  and  has 
three  children,  two  young  lady  daughters  and  one  son,  twelve 
years  of  age.  He  is  a  very  important  and  influential  man  in 
church  affairs  in  Holyoke,  and  recently,  generously  gave 
several  thousand  dollars  toward  the  erection  of  a  Congrega- 
tional church  in  that  place.  Dio  Oratio  Page  and  his  son 
have  always  expressed  a  deep  interest  in  their  native  town, 
and  often  visit  the  old  homestead  on  the  hill,  and  among  the 
hills  of  Boxborough.  The  father  has  many  times  expressed 
the  desire  to  be  laid  to  rest  at  last  in  the  little  cemetery  near 
his  former  home. 

Henry  Augustine  Page,  the  second  son,  born  Mar.  20, 1841, 
is  a  physician  of  note  in  the  State  of  Pennsylvania.  Seven  or 
eight  years  ago,  the  newspapers  spoke  in  the  highest  terms  of 
the  valuable  services  rendered  by  Dr.  Henry  A.  Page  upon  the 
occasion  of  a  terrible  railway  accident.  His  untiring  efforts 
to  relieve  and  save  the  sufferers  were  rewarded  by  the  gift  of 
a  gold-headed  cane. 

Emory  Barnard,  the  youngest  son,  born  Dec.  11,  1844,  is  a 
resident  of  Leominster,  Mass. 

Capt.  Christopher  Page  was  chairman  of  the  board  of  select- 
men in  1830  and  1831. 


The  farm  where  Mr.  and  Mrs.  O.  Ewings  now  reside  has 
been  in  possession  of  the  l^xtch  family  for  at  least  five  gen- 
erations.    Dea.  Abram  Patch,  who  married  Hannah   Herrick, 

The  Patch  Family.  173 

owned  it  in  "  Ye  olden  time."  Afterward  it  came  into  pos- 
session of  his  son,  Jonathan.  Isaac  P,atch,  son  of  Jonathan, 
next  occupied  it.  He  married  Jane  Butler  and  they  were  the 
parents  of  three  children,  Nathan,  Benjamin,  who  died  in 
Cincinnati,  0.,  and  Lucy,  who  is  buried  beside  her  mother  in 
the  old  cemetery  in  Littleton.  Nathan  Patch  married  Lucre tia 
Hartwell,  a  cousin  of  Squire  Cephas  Hartwell,  of  Boxborough, 
and  lived  and  died  upon  the  Wright  place,  adjoining  the  Patch 
farm.  Nathan  and  Lucretia  (Hartwell)  Patch  were  the  parents 
of  five  children:  Nathan  Hartwell,  Lucretia  Ann,  Benjamin 
Henry,  who  died  in  infancy,  Obadiah  Kendall  and  Benjamin 
Henry.  The  two  last  named  are  the  only  surviving  members 
of  the  family,  and  at  the  present  time  are  residents  of  South 
Acton.  Nathan  Patch  was  school  committee,  selectman, 
assessor  and  overseer  of  poor,  during  the  years  1835  to  1838. 

Isaac  Patch  married  for  his  second  wife,  Hannah  (Wether- 
bee)  Cobleigh,  widow  of  Jolni  Cobleigh  and  a  sister  of  Oliver 
Wetherbee's  father.  Their  two  children  were  Jonathan  W. 
and  Cynthia.  Jonathan  W.  married  Poselma  J.  Tarbell,  born 
March  23,  1819, —  a  native  of  Vermont  but  a  resident  of  Lowell 
at  the  time  of  her  marriage, —  and  made  his  home  upon  the  farm 
of  his  ancestors.  Of  their  live  children, — CUiarles  Henry,  Francis 
Abbot,  Lucy  Ann,  George  Albert  and  Ellen  Loretta, — -four 
died  in  early  years.  Francis  Al^bot,  born  1844,  married  Miss 
Sarah  S.  Lawrence,  a  teacher  of  Harvard,  Feb.  2.5,  1869,  and 
they  reside  upon  the  old  homestead  farm,  but  in  a  new  and 
l)eautiful  residence  which  he  has  recently  erected  thereon. 

Mr.  Patch  was  a  teacher  for  several  years.  In  1865,  he 
taught  his  last  scliool  in  Harvard,  Mass.,  assisted  by  Miss 
Sarah  S.  Lawrence,  whom  he  afterward  married.  Immediately 
after  the  close  of  this  school,  he  determined  to  make  a  mercan- 
tile business  his  life  work  and  in  the  spring  of  this  same  year 
started  for  Boston,  alone  and  among  strangers,  to  seek  a  posi- 
tion. After  travelling  through  the  principal  streets  for  three 
days,  soliciting  a  position,  he  happened  to  call  upon  a  firm  by 
name  of  Metcalf  and  l^apendick,  dealers  in  upholstery  goods, 
Avho    hired    him  at  a  salaiy  of   three    dollars   per  week.     He 

174        Boxhoroiigh :  a  New  England  Toum  a7id  its  Peoj^h. 

managed  to  live  on  this  amount  and  pay  his  board  till  the  fall 
of  the  same  year,  when  he  was  sent  to  New  York  to  work  at 
an  advanced  salary  in  a  branch  store  owned  by  the  same  con- 
cern. Here  he  remained  till  the  firm  retired  from  business  in 
1870,  when  he  was  recommended  to  F.  M.  Holmes  and  Co.,  of 
Boston,  manufacturers  of  furniture,  with  whom  he  remained  as 
salesman  until  1878,  serving  both  in  their  Boston  and  New 
York  stores.  In  1878,  Mr.  Holmes  retired  and  Mr.  L.  S.  Gould 
and  Mr.  Patch  succeeded  to  the  business,  which  they  continued 
until  1888,  when  Mr.  Patch  bought  out  his  partner  and  con- 
tinued alone  until  June  1,  1890,  when  in  consequence  of  poor 
health  he  sold  out  and  retired  to  the  farm  on  which  he  was 
born,  where  he  and  his  wife  are  enjoying  the  quiet  of  country 
life.  He  was  chosen  superintendent  of  schools  in  Boxborough 
the  present  year  (1891). 

Jonathan  W.  Patch  died  Jan.  30,  1853,  and  is  buried  witli 
the  Patch  families  in  Littleton.  After  his  death,  his  widow 
married  Orman  E wings,  a  native  of  Vermont,  and  with  her 
husband  continued  to  live  upon  the  Patch  farm,  where  they 
now  reside.  Mr.  Ewings  had  two  children  by  a  former  mar- 
riage, Luther  H.  and  Almeda.  Luther  H.  served  in  the  War 
of  the  Rebellion  three  years,  was  wounded  in  the  service,  and 
since  that  time  has  resided  in  Texas.  He  is  married  and  has 
two  children,  Robert  and  Minnie.  Almeda  married  Nathaniel 
P.  Prue  and  settled  on  the  John  Cobleigh  farm  —  now  the 
residence  of  Willis  H.  Gooch.  She  died  Aug.  27,  1874.  Mr. 
Prue  died  Apr.  9,  1877,  and  their  daughter,  Grace  M.,  lives 
with  her  grandparents,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Ewings,  who  have  had 
the  care  of  her  from  infancy. 

Orman  and  Roselma  J.  Ewings  were  the  parents  of  two 
children:  Emma  C.,  who  died  in  infancy,  and  Henrietta  A., 
who  resides  at  home.  Nov.  19,  1884,  Miss  Ella  Abbott, 
daughter  of  a  sister  of  Mrs.  Ewings  and  who  has  been  an 
inmate  of  the  family  from  childhood,  married  Arthur  C. 
Whitney,  of  West  Acton,  where  his  family  now  reside,  and 
went  to  St.  Louis  to  live.  They  have  one  daughter,  Louise 
Whitney.  . 

Aniasa  A.  Rlcliardson.  175 

Cynthia  Patch,  born  June  26,  1811,  married  John  Chaffin, 
Apr.  21,  1833,  and  after  a  three  years'  residence  on  the  Patch 
farm  removed  to  the  Chaffin  place  in  Acton,  where  three  gene- 
rations of  Chaffins  have  lived  and  died,  and  the  fourth  is  now 
living.  They  had  two  children,  Hannah,  and  John  Francis, 
who  died  in  1818  at  the  age  of  two  years.  Hannah,  horn 
Mar.  16,  1831,  married  Antoine  Bulette  and  resides  with  her 
husljand  upon  the  Chaffin  place  in  Acton.  They  have  no 
children  of  their  own,  but  two  foster  children  gladden  the 
household:  Caroline  A.  Jewett,  who  has  lived  in  the  family 
thirty-five  years,  having  been  taken  by  them  when  five  or  six 
years  of  age,  and  Frank  L.  Wyman,  the  son  of  a  cousin  of 
Mrs.  Bulette,  who  was  born  on  the  farm  and  has  always  lived 
with  the  family. 


Mr.  Amasa  Allen  Kichardson  is  the  son  of  Allen  and  Ruth 
(Wheeler)  Richardson,  of  Acton,  Mass.,  who  were  the  parents 
of  five  daughters  and  two  sons.  At  the  age  of  ten  years,  he 
Avent  to  Vermont  to  live  and  remained  there  about  twentj'-six 
years.  He  has  been  in  possession  of  the  farm  where  he  now 
resides  since  1847,  a  period  of  nearly  forty -four  j-ears.  He 
purchased  the  land,  which  was  a  part  of  the  old  Taylor  place, 
of  Mr.  Stevens  Hayward,  son  of  Paul  and  Lucy,  and  brother 
of  the  late  Dea.  Joseph  Hayward.  He  married  jNIiss  Huldah 
Woodward,  daughter  of  Elijah  and  Rhoda  (Austin)  Wood- 
ward, of  Landsgrove,  Vt.,  Nov.  1842,  and  came  to  Boxborough, 
with  his  wife  and  oldest  son,  then  two  and  one-half  years  old, 
in  1847  ;  but  as  there  were  no  buildings  on  his  farm  at  that 
time,  he  made  his  home  for  the  first  three  years  upon  the 
Burroughs  place.  In  the  mean  time,  having  erected  the  build- 
ings which  he  now  occupies,  he  removed  in  1850  to  his  new 
possession  with  his  family.  One  of  the  barns  upon  the 
premises  is  the  most  ancient  of  any  in  town,  having  been 
built  by  Major  Taylor  over  a  hundred  years  ago. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Amasa  A.  Richardson  Avere  the  parents  of 
five  childi-en,  Austin  A.,  Lewis  W.,  Moses  F.,  who  died  at  the 

176        Boxhorough :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

age  of  two  years  and  five  months,  Oren  A.,  and  Ada  L.,  the 
yonngest  child  and  only  daughter,  who  died  when  ten  months 
of  age. 

Mr.  Austin  A.  liichardson,  born  March  18,  1814,  married 
Miss  ]\Iary  Withington,  daughter  of  Josiah  Withington,  of 
Harvard,  and  settled  in  Acton  in  1866.  They  have  three 
children,  Alfred  L.,  Ida  L., —  who  married  David  Millet, 
Oct.  18, 1890,  and  settled  in  Athoh—  and  Clara.  Mr.  Austin  A. 
Richardson  has  been  section  hand  upon  the  Fitchburg  railroad 
for  seventeen  years,  where  lie  is  still  employed.  He  served  in 
the  late  War  of  the  Kebellion  for  nine  months,  nearly  sacrific- 
ing his  life  there,  but  was  finally  discharged  in  the  winter  of 
1862,  and  sent  home  to  recover  from  an  illness  to  which  the 
deprivations  and  exposures  of  a  soldier's  life  had  reduced  him. 

Mr.  Lewis  W.  Ricliardson  married  Miss  Augusta  S.  Howard 
of  Windham,  Vt.,  May,  1877,  settled  upon  the  home  farm,  and 
witli  his  father  is  engaged  in  farming  upon  a  large  scale.  Their 
oldest  child,  Luella  Abbie,  died  when  two  years  and  ten  months 
of  age,  and  they  have  five  children  living :  Harlan  L.,  Charles 
H.,  Sarah  A.,  Alvin  W.  and  George  A.  Mr.  Lewis  W.  Rich- 
ardson has  been  a  member  of  the  School  Board,  at  different 
times,  eight  years. 

Mr.  Oren  A.  Richardson  married  Miss  Nellie  M.  AVillard, 
daughter  of  Rev.  W.  A.  P.  WiUard  of  Stow,  Mass.,  Dec.  11, 
1881,  and  settled  in  Hudson,  Mass.,  where  he  follows  the  oc- 
cupation of  a  carpenter.  They  are  the  parents  of  two  children, 
Earle  A.  and  Edith  M. 

Mr.  Amasa  A.  Richardson's  father,  Allen  Richardson,  of 
Acton,  was  one  of  the  men  who  marched  to  Boston  in  the 
becfinnino-  of  the  war  of  1812,  at  the  call  of  his  country,  and 
remained  there  several  montlis.     He  was  in  no  engagement. 

Mr.  Amasa  A.  Richardson,  accompanied  by  Mr.  Chas.  H. 
Burroughs,  went  to  California  in  1853,  and  remained  there 
four  years,  which  time  was  passed  in  many  and  varied  fortunes. 
Mr.  Richardson  once  related  a  little  incident  which  occurred  on 
the  way  out,  Avliile  waiting  for  the  transfer  of  baggage  at  the 
Isthmus.     "We  were  very  thirsty,"  said  he,  "but  upon  look- 

Dr.  Daniel  Rohim.  177 

ing  about  us  for  water,  found  we  could  obtain  it  only  by  paying 
ten  cents  a  drink,  which  we  did."  In  the  recent  moist  New 
England  seasons  wherein  water  has  been  so  abundant  and  free, 
it  would  seem  almost  like  criminal  extortion  to  exact  ten  cents 
for  a  draught  of  the  liquid  element.  I  recall  the  remark  with 
which  he  closed  a  recital  of  anecdotes  of  that  period  so  fruitful 
in  experiences.  "The  story  of  those  four  years  in  California 
would  make  a  book  of  itself.  I  was  often  in  danger,  yet  as 
often  escaped,  and  I  believe  a  kind  I'rovidence  kept  me." 

]Mr.  and  Mrs.  Ilichardson  have  been  indefatigable  workers ; 
very  few  have  seen  their  days  and  months  and  years  as  closely 
occupied  as  have  these  two.  They  have  been  active  members 
of  the  C'Ongregational  church  in  Boxborough  for  over  forty 
years,  and  Mr.  Lewis  W.  Richardson  and  his  wife  are  also 
members  of  that  church.  Mrs.  Richardson  is  a  member  of  the 
Ladies'  Circle  and  Woman's  Missionary  Society  connected  with 
the  church,  and  is  ever  read}-  and  willing  to  labor  for  the 
advancement  of  their  interests. 


The  name  of  Dr.  Daniel  Robins  will  doubtless  arouse 
pleasant  memories  in  the  liearts  of  many  of  the  older  resi- 
dents of  the  town.  Here  among  these  quiet  hills  he  followed 
the  calling  of  a  country  doctor  for  many  years,  and  made  his 
home  upon  the  place  now  owned  and  occupied  by  Mr.  J.  H. 
()rendorff.  Dr.  Robins  was  he  of  whom,  in  1792,  the  records 
said,  "  Voted  that  the  doctor  sit  in  the  fore-seat  of  the  front." 
He  was  selectman  and  town  clerk  for  several  years.  Descend- 
ants of  this  worthy  man  are  about  us  still. 

1T8        Boxhorowjli  :  a  New  Eiujland  Town  and  its  People. 



(From  "  History  of  Weare,  N.  H.") 

Samuel  Stone,  born  in  Hartford,  England,  came  to  America 
in  1633  ;  settled  in  Cambridge,  Mass.,  as  one  of  its  first  clergy- 
men, and  soon  went  with  others  and  founded  Hartford,  Conn. 
Simon,  brother  of  Samuel,  came  to  America  in  ship  Increase 
in  1633  ;  settled  in  Groton,  Mass.  Gregor}^,  brother  of  Samuel 
and  Simon,  came  to  America  in  1633,  in  ship  Increase;  born 
in  Hartford,  England,  1590  ;  settled  first  in  Watertown,  moved 
to  Cambridge  in  1638,  and  built  his  liomestead  on  five  acres  of 
land  on  westerly  side  of  Garden  Street,  between  Botanic  garden 
and  Concord  Avenue.  He  died  Nov.  30,  1672.  John,  first 
child  of  Gregory,  born  in  Hartford,  England,  1619,  came  to 
America  with  his  father  in  1633  ;  settled  in  Sudbury,  after- 
wards Framingham.  In  1656,  he  purchased  from  the  Indians 
land  at  falls  of  Sudbury  River,  and  owned  the  larger  part  of 
Saxonville.  He  was  a  free  man  at  Cambridge  in  1665,  and 
representative  in  1682-3.  He  died  at  homestead  in  Cambridge, 
May  5,  1683. 

Simon  Stone,  Jr.,  born  in  Groton,  1665,  married  Miss  Sarah 
Stone,  1687.  Their  children  were  Simon,  born  1689,  and 
Joseph,  born  1691.  Joseph  Stone  married  Mary  Prescott,  of 
Westford,  May  9,  1728,  whose  father  owned  and  worked  an 
iron  forge.  Mr.  Stone  died  Sept.  10,  1767.  Of  their  fifteen 
children.  Thankful,  the  youngest  daughter,  born  1754,  married 
Mr.  Harwood,  grandfather  of  J.  A.  Harwood,  of  Littleton. 
Silas,  the  ninth  child,  married  Eunice  Fairbanks,  of  Harvard, 
Jan.   20,  1767,    and  to  them  were  born  ten  children:     Lucy, 

|?=».??Sft>  "^S? 


The  Stone  Family.  179 

bom  1768,  Eunice,  bom  1770,  Sally  (1771-1804),  Silas,  bom 
1773,  Phinehas  (1775-1852),  Betsy  Fairbanks  (1777-1852), 
Hannah,  bom  1779,  Jasper  (1781-1858),  Joseph  (1783-1822), 
and  Lois,  born  1786.  Phinehas,  born  in  Templeton,  Mass., 
July  3,  1775,  moved  with  his  father's  family  in  1779  to 
Harvard,  where  they  remained  five  years,  afterward  making 
their  home  in  Boxborough,  where  they  resided  sixteen  years. 
He  moved  to  Weare,  N.  H.,  in  1803,  where  he  built  an  oil- 
mill  *  foi-  the  manufacture  of  linseed  oil.  A  village  in  the 
immediate  vicinity  took  the  name  of  Oil  ]Mill  village,  and 
retains  that  name  to  the  present  time.  He  kept  store  north 
of    Emerson   bridge    and   at   East    Weare.     Maj^  3,  1808,  he 

*  Oil-mills  were  plenty  in  New  England  about  the  beginning  of  the  present  century.  Linseed 
and  pumpkin-seed  oils  were  manufactured  in  them.  Phinehas  Stone  came  from  Massachusetts, 
where  he  had  owned  one,  to  ^^'eare  in  1803.  July  12,  in  company  with  Simon  Houghton,  he 
leased  from  Benjamin  Gale  a  water-power  to  run  an  oil-mill  for  twenty  years,  and  soon  built 
our  oil-mill.  Colonel  Stone  operated  it  but  a  short  time,  when  it  passed  into  the  hands  of 
other  parties,  and  eventually  was  owned  by  Christopher  Simons. 

It  was  situated  on  the  south-west  side  of  the  highway,  south  of  the  bridge,  a  two-story 
building  thirty  by  forty  feet,  the  flume  on  the  east  side  extending  half  the  length.  There  were 
two  entrances,  one  to  the  second  story  at  the  north-east  corner  by  a  flight  of  steps  over  the 
flume,  the  other  to  the  lower  story  near  the  south-east  corner.  There  were  stairs  inside  from 
the  south-west  corner  to  the  second  story. 

The  simple  machinery,  strongly  constructed,  was,  first,  to  crack  the  seed,  second,  to  grind  it- 
third,  to  warm  the  meal,  and  fourth,  to  press  it.  The  machinery  for  cracking  the  seed  consisted 
of  two  iron  rollers,  ten  inches  long  and  eight  inches  in  diameter,  fitted  to  iron  shafting  placed 
horizontally ;  the  rolls,  smoothly  finished,  ran  so  nearly  together  that  only  a  sheet  of  the 
thinnest  paper  could  pass  tetween  them.  A  spout  so  closely  fitted  to  the  rolls  that  not  a  seed 
could  escape  conducted  the  seed  to  them,  from  the  room  above,  where  it  was  broken  passing 
between  them.  It  was  then  shovelled  on  to  a  bed-stone  close  by,  about  nine  feet  square. 
Through  the  centre  of  this  stone  stood  a  perpendicular  oaken  shaft  about  twenty  inches  in 
diameter,  securely  fastened  to  a  heavy  timber  at  the  top  and  revolved  by  a  water-wheel  below. 
Through  this  shaft  above  the  Ised-stone  was  a  wooden  axle  about  seven  feet  long,  and  at  eacli 
end  was  a  mill-stone  about  five  feet  in  diameter,  fourteen  inches  thick.  Behind  each  stone 
wheel  was  a  follower  to  keep  the  meal  in  place,  and  they,  going  round  and  round  about 
twenty  times  a  minute,  soon  ground  out  a  pressmg.  The  meal  was  then  put  into  a  thick  sheet- 
iron  cylinder,  which  was  made  to  revolve  several  times  a  mmute  over  a  slow  fire.  When 
properly  warmed,  it  was  put  into  canvas  bags,  and  these  placed  in  the  press  box,  and  powder 
applied  by  an  iron  screw  about  four  inches  in  diameter,  turned  by  strong  machinery  connected 
with  the  water-wheel.  The  oil,  like  cider,  ran  down  into  a  tub  from  which  it  was  dipped  into 
barrels.  The  flax-cake  was  taken  out  of  the  press,  chopped  into  small  pieces  with  an  axe, 
again  placed  under  the  great  stone  wheels,  ground  into  meal  and  sold  to  be  fed  to  the  farmers' 
stock.  The  oil  was  sold  for  about  $1.50  a  gallon,  and  hundreds  of  barrels  were  made  each 

The  raising  of  flax  was  a  great  industry  before  the  time  of  cotton-factories,  and  flaxseed 
used  to  be  taken  at  all  the  stores  as  barter  and  sold  in  turn  to  the  oil-mills.  Stone,  and  after 
him  .Simons,  used  to  have  great  bins  of  it,  more  than  five  hundred  bushels,  stored  in  the 
second  story  of  their  oil-mill  at  a  time.  Then  the  mill  ran  more  than  two-thirds  of  the  year. 
In  1835,  but  a  few  bushels  of  seed  could  be  obtained,  the  mill  ran  only  two  or  three  w^eeks,  and 
in  1S36  the  business  ceased.  Tinseed  as  well  as  pumpkin-seed  oil  found  a  i^eady  market  in 
those  days,  and  the  business  was  profitable. 

180       Boxhorough :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

married  Hannah  Jones,  a  native  of  Londonderry,  who  was 
born  April  27,  1783,  and  taught  school  at  Oil  Mill  village. 
Their  eight  children  were  all  born  at  Weare ;  viz.,  Sarah, 
Phinehas  J.,  Silas,  Josiah,  Avho  died  when  an  infant,  Amos, 
Jasper,  Joseph,  and  Jonathan.  In  1824,  he  removed  with 
his  family  to  Charlestown,  Mass.;  there  he  kept  a  grocery 
store ;  died  at  Charlestown,  Jan.  9,  1852,  aged  seventy-seven 
years,  and  was  buried  in  the  tomb  which  he  had  built  the  year 
before  at  Boxborough.  His  wife  died  in  Charlestown,  Dec.  17, 
1867,  aged  eighty-four  years  seven  months  twenty  days,  and 
is  laid  beside  him.  Phinehas  Stone  was  captain  of  a  company 
of  New  Hampshire  detatched  militia  of  the  first  regiment  under 
Lieut.-Col.  N.  Fisk,  in  the  war  of  1812,  Avent  from  Weare  on 
or  about  Sept,  12,  1814,  did  actual  service  at  Portsmouth, 
N.  H.,  and  was  honorably  discharged.  He  was  drafted  at 
Goffstown  for  three  months,  continued  to  be  captain  for  some 
time  and  was  subsequently  chosen  colonel  of  the  regiment. 

The  daughter,  Sarah,  was  born  Mar.  18,  1809,  married  Seth 
W.  Lewis,  of  Claremont,  N.  H.,  in  1834,  and  died  in  Charles- 
town, Mass.,  Apr.  27,  1872,  aged  sixty-three  years.  Her 
husband,  Seth  W.  Lewis,  died  July  1,  1872,  aged  sixty-six 
years.     They  were  buried  in  Woodlawn  cemetery. 


Phinehas  Jones,  second  child  and  eldest  son  of  Hannah 
(Jones)  and  Col.  Phinehas  Stone,  was  born  in  Weare,  N.  H., 
May  23,  1810,  where  he  lived  until  November,  1824,  when  he 
removed  with  his  family  to  Charlestown,  Mass.,  Avhich  has  ever 
since  been  his  adopted  home.  He  married  Ann  Maria  Lind- 
sey,  June  20,  1841.  She  died  Sept.  6,  1851.  Joseph  Stone, 
fourth  child  of  Phinehas  J.  and  Ann  M.  (Lindsey)  Stone,  was 
born  at  Charlestown,  Mass.,  Jan.  4,  1848,  graduated  from 
Massachusetts  Institute  of  Technology  in  1868  as  Civil  Engi- 
neer, and  took  the  degree  of  S.  B.,  entered  the  office  of 
William  H.  Thompson,  Boston,  July,  1868,  as  mill  engineer, 
became  mill  engineer  for  the   Manchester  Print  Works,  Man- 

PMnehuH  J.  Stone  181 

Chester,  N.  H.,  in  1870,  and  was  appointed  agent,  Feb.  1,  1874. 
On  the  reorganization  of  the  company  as  the  Manchester  Mills, 
in  April,  1874,  he  was  continued  as  agent  until  Sept.  30,  1880. 
Oct.  1,  1880,  he  was  appointed  superintendent  of  the  Lower 
Pacific  Mills,  Lawrence,  Mass.,  devoted  to  the  manufacture  of 
worsted  goods.  He  was ,  married  Jan.  12,  1870,  to  Lillias 
Blaikie,  only  daughter  of  Kev.  Alexander  Blaikie,  D.D.,  of 
Boston,  who  died,  without  children,  in  Dedham,  Mass., 
Dec.  26,  1873.  He  was  again  married,  Feb.  10,  1880, 
to  Minnie  Harris,  eldest  daughter  of  Horatio  Harris,  Esq.,  of 
Roxbury,  by  whom  he  had  a  son,  Harris  Stone,  who  was  born 
Dec.  4,  1880,  and  died  Aug.  12,  1881,  also  a  daughter, 
Marion  Stone,  born  Oct.  14,  1882.  He  lived  at  home  with  his 
father  until  1870,  when,  after  marriage,  he  moved  to  Dedham, 
where  he  lived  until  Feb.  1,  1874,  when  he  moved  to  Man- 
chester, N.  H. 

I  quote  from  The  Bunker  Hill  Times,  of  Aug.  24,  1889, 
with  regard  to  another  son  of  jNIr.  Stone  :  "  On  Sunday  morn- 
ing at  3.20  o'  clock,  Phinehas  J.  Stone,  Jr.,  passed  away  at  the 
Isles  of  Shoals,  terminating  a  life,  the  closing  years  of  which 
were  marred  by  almost  uninterrupted  illness.  Well  known  and 
liked  by  every  old  resident  of  the  district,  his  death,  though  not 
unheralded,  was  an  event  which  called  forth  universal  sorrow 
and  sympathy.  He  was  born  in  Charlestown,  Jan.  28,  1842. 
In  youth  his  constitution  was  far  from  robust,  but  he  pursued 
his  studies  without  interruption  until  he  was  graduated  with 
honor  from  the  High  School.  His  delicate  health  prevented 
his  attempting  a  collegiate  course,  and  he  prepared  himself  for 
a  business  life.  His  qualifications  for  a  commercial  career  were 
remarkably  good.  Affable  and  honest,  it  was  a  pleasure  to 
transact  business  with  him,  wliile  his  remarkaljle  memory  was 
the  wonder  of  all  who  knew  him.  His  nature  was  refined  and 
artistic,  and  his  passionate  love  of  music  was  evinced  even  to 
the  last  moments  of  his  life.  He  was  of  a  hopeful  and  merry 
disposition,  and  while  on  his  death-bed  strove  to  cheer  his 
attendants  and  friends,  allowing  no  complaints  or  murmurs  to 
escape    him.     His  charity  was  spontaneous  but  discreet.     He 

182        Boxho7'ough  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

could  not  witness  suffering  without  attempting  to  alleviate  it. 
Many  instances  of  charitable  deeds  done  by  liim  have  come  to 
light,  and  that  he  is  sincerely  mourned  by  many  who  have 
received  aid  at  his  hands  in  days  of  trouble  is  the  best 
eulogy  that  could  have  been  pronounced  upon  his  life. 

"  Upon  attaining  his  majority,  Mr.  Stone  was  filled  with  the 
patriotic  desire  to  serve  his  country  at  the  front.  In  spite  of 
his  feeble  constitution  nothing  could  deter  him  from  entering 
the  service  of  the  government ;  finally,  as  he  was  pronounced 
unfit  for  the  infantry  arm,  wliich  he  had  proposed  entering,  a 
commission  in  tlie  navy  as  paymaster  was  secured  for  him. 
He  was  attached  to  the  gunboat  Hastings,  on  the  Mississippi 
River,  and  afterwards  to  the  Volunteer.  He  left  the  service  of 
the  United  States  at  the  close  of  the  war,  broken  down  in 
health,  but  after  an  illness,  which  with  its  convalescence  con- 
fined him  for  a  year,  he  was  able  to  accept  the  chief  clerkship 
of  the  internal  revenue  collector's  office,  his  father  at  that 
time  being  the  incumbent  of  that  office.  This  he  held  until 
the  abolishment  of  the  office,  when  he  became  chief  clerk  of  the 
Five  Cents  Savings  Bank.  He  also  represented  several  of  the 
most  reliable  fire  insurance  companies,  as  their  local  agent. 
In  1876  and  1877  he  represented  Ward  Three  in  the  Common 
Council  of  the  city  of  Boston.  He  was  also  a  member  of  King 
Solomon's  Lodge  of  Masons. 

"  Five  years  ago  his  condition  became  so  alarming  that  he 
was  ordered  by  his  physicians  to  pass  the  winter  in  a  warmer 
clime.  In  obedience  to  their  decree  he  spent  two  winters  at 
Nassau.  While  on  his  last  visit  to  this  island  he  was  thrown 
from  his  carriage,  and  his  s[)ine  injured.  This  accident 
increased  his  debility,  aud  he  soon  returned  home,  to  remain 
there  save  for  a  few  weeks  of  summer,  when  he  was  carried  to 
some  resort  not  far  from  Boston.  It  was  during  the  annual 
outing  that  his  disorder  culminated  in  death.  His  remains 
were  brought  to  Boston,  and  funeral  services  held  over  them 
Tuesday  afternoon.     The  interment  was  at  Mount  Auburn." 

]*hinehas  Jones  Stone  commenced  business  in  the  West 
India  goods  trade  in  1884,  and  l)y  untiring  industry  and  perse- 

FlmieJms  -L  Stone.  183 

verance  laid  the  foundation  of  his  success  in  after  life.  He 
retired  from  this  occupation  in  1851.  He  was  selectman  of 
Charlestown  in  1839  and  1840 ;  member  of  the  house  of  repre- 
sentatives in  1840,  1856,  1862  and  1863  ;  and,  after  Charles- 
town  became  a  city,  he  was  several  years  elected  to  the 
common  council,  and  was  president  of  the  same.  He  was  also 
upon  the  board  of  aldermen.  From  1856  to  1859,  he  was 
inspector  of  the  Massachusetts  State  prison.  It  was  during 
this  time  that  Deputy  Warden  Walker  and  Warden  Tenu}- 
were  murdered,  and  ]\Ir.  Stone  took  charge  of  the  prison  for  six 
weeks,  pending  the  appointment  of  new  officials  by  the  governor, 
displaying  great  executive  ability,  giving  courage  to  the 
officers  under  him,  and  keeping  in  order  the  prisoners,  excited 
and  almost  demoralized  by  this  double  act  of  blood.  "  Will 
there  be  services  in  the  chapel  this  morning  ?  ''  he  was  anxiously 
asked  after  the  murder  of  W^iiden  Tenny.  "  Most  cei'tainly," 
he  replied,  and  providing  arms  and  ammunition  for  each  officer, 
gave  orders  for  their  immediate  use  in  case  of  any  indications 
of  a  revolt. 

He  was  mayor  of  Charlestown  in  1862,  1863,  and  1864  ; 
was  instrumental  in  raising  and  forming  several  companies  for 
the  defence  of  the  country  during  the  Rebellion,  wlio  did 
active  service  in  the  army  of  the  North.  During  his  adminis- 
tration Avas  completed  the  introduction  of  water  from  ]Mystic 
l^ond,  yielding  an  ample  supply  for  the  inhabitants,  not  only  of 
Charlestown,  but  several  other  surrounding  towns. 

He  was  United  States  assessor,  sixth  Massachusetts  district, 
from  1867  to  1873,  when  the  office  was  abolished  by  act  of 

He  was  one  of  the  original  movers  for  the  act  of  incorpora- 
tion, authorizing  the  improvement  of  about  one  hundred  acres 
of  flats,  lying  between  the  north  and  south  channels  of  the 
Mystic  River,  upon  which  today  there  is  a  taxable  property  of 
more  than  $1,000,000,  and  which  eventuall}'  will  increase  to 
many  millions,  as  it  is  the  terminus  of  the  Northern  railroads  to 
the  deep  water  of  Boston  harbor. 

184        Bo.rhorough :  a  New  EngJmid  Town  and  its  People. 

He  was  elected  in  1854,  at  the  organization  of  the  Charles- 
town  Five  Cents  Savings  Bank,  its  president,  a  position  he  holds 
at  the  present  time  (1891).  This  bank  is  a  highly  successful 
institution,  with  a   deposit,  today,  of  upwards  of   $4,800,000. 

He  is  a  director  in  the  Charlestown  Gas  Company,  also 
in  the  Mutual  Protection  Fire  Insurance  Company. 

A  man  of  commanding  presence,  loyal  to  his  country  in  the 
hour  of  its  peril,  of  sterling  integrity  of  character,  upright  and 
honorable  in  all  his  dealings  with  his  brother  man,  sympathetic 
with  distress,  his  hand  open  to  relieve  suffering  without  osten- 
tation or  publicity,  he  is  an  honor,  both  to  his  native  State  and 
the  one  of  his  adoption.* 

Silas  Stone,  second  son  of  Phinehas  and  Hannah,  was  born 
Sept.  30,  1812.  When  a  young  man  he  worked  in  New  York 
City  at  baking ;  from  there  he  went  to  his  native  town,  Weare, 
and  kept  store  ;  from  there  he  went  to  Charlestown,  and  from 
there  to  Stoneham,  jNIass.,  where  he  died,  March  2,  1842,  aged 
29  years,  5  months,  2  days.  He  married  Sarah  Ann  Hall, 
June  8,  1838.  They  had  one  son  who  died  June  22,  1841, 
aged  22  months,  and  is  buried  in  the  tomb  at  Boxborough. 


Amos  Stone,  fourth  son  of  Phinehas  and  Hannah,  was  born 
Aug.  16,  1816.  He  was  educated  in  the  Charlestown  free 
schools.  At  the  age  of  fifteen  he  went  into  his  father's  grocery 
store,  and  remained  there  until  he  was  twenty-one  years  of  age  ; 
he  then  bought  his  first  parcel  of  land,  which  he  now  owns, 
and  commenced  a  real  estate  business  ;  built  and  sold  houses, 
and  has  continued  in  that  business,  more  or  less,  down  to  the 
present  time,  until  now  he  has  become  one  of  the  largest  real- 
estate  holders  in  Middlesex  County.  Not  infrequently  legal 
qtiestions  arose  in  reference  to  titles  and  boundaries,  and  it 
became  necessary  to  appeal  to  the  law  ;  he  always  prepared  his 
own  cases,  employed  the  most  eminent  counselors  to  manage 
them,  and  never  lost  a  case  in  court. 

Charlestown  became  a  city  in  1847,  when  he  Avas  elected  its 
first  city  treasurer  and  collector  of  taxes,  and  held  that  office 

*  Phinehas  J.  Stone  died  Aug. 

t  ■ 

Amos  Stone.  185 

until  1854.  In  that  year  he  was  elected  treasurer  of  the  county 
of  Middlesex,  and  held  the  office  until  January,  188H,  when  he 
declined  a  re-election.  In  1854  the  C'harlestown  Five  Cents 
Savings  Bank  was  incorporated.  He  took  an  active  and  leael- 
ing  part  in  its  organization,  and  was  elected  one  of  its  trustees 
and  its  first  treasurer,  and  now  holds  both  positions.  It  has 
proved  one  of  the  most  prosperous  and  successful  baidis  in  the 
connnonwealth.  For  more  than  ten  years,  he,  as  treasiu-er, 
with  the  assistance  of  the  president,  performed  all  the  labor  of 
the  savings  bank  without  any  compensation  to  either.  In  1861, 
the  Mutual  Protection  Fire  Insurance  Company  was  incor- 
[)orated  and  organized,  in  which  he  took  a  leading  part,  and 
was  chosen  one  of  its  directors,  and  soon  succeeded  to  the  pre- 
sidency, which  position  he  now  holds.  In  1863,  he  was  elected 
a  director  of  the  Monument  National  Bank,  and  still  retabis 
that  position.  He  was  one  of  the  original  shareholders  of  the 
]Mystic  River  corporation,  a  large  landed  company,  and  for  more 
than  twenty  years  has  been  its  clerk  and  treasurer,  and  is  now 
president  of  the-  Ocean  Terminal  Railroad  Dock  and  Elevator 

In  the  several  positions  as  treasurer,  he  has  administered 
the  duties  with  signal  ability.  His  attention  to  business,  great 
executive  ability  and  physical  endurance,  enabled  him  to  work 
sixteen  hours  per  day,  and  to  perform  all  the  duties  in  the 
several  offices  that  he  held  at  the  same  time,  and  during  the 
thirty  years  he  held  the  office  of  count}'  treasurer,  he  never 
employed  a  clerk  or  assistant. 

In  politics  he  was  originally  a  Democrat,  voted  for  Franklin 
Pierce  for  president:  then  he  became  a  Republican,  and  voted 
for  John  C.  F^remont,  and  has  continued  in  the  party  since. 
When  the  Rebellion  was  begun  he  was  one  of  the  first  to  come 
to  the  support  of  the  government,  and  was  one  of  the  twenty- 
one  persons  who  paid  the  expense  of  fitting  out  the  first  three 
companies  from  Charlestown  to  go  to  Washington  to  defend 
the  capitol ;  although  exempt  from  draft,  by  reason  of  age,  he 
sent  the  first  representative  recruit  from  Charlestown  at  his 
own  expense,  and  contributed  hundreds  of  dollars  durino-  the 

186        Boxhoraiiyli  :  a  Netv  Kiujhmd  Toini  (Hid  iti<  People. 

I'outinuaiicc  of  the  war.  Ivu'ly  in  life  he  joined  the  Free 
Masons  and  is  quite  prominent  in  the  Masonic  order,  having 
taken  the  thirty-second  degree,  and  is  now  treasurer  of  two 
Masonic  organizations.  He  remained  a  single  man  until  after 
lie  was  fifty  years  of  age,  when,  June  13,  1871,  he  married 
Sarah  Elizabeth  Mills.  They  removed  in  1873  to  Everett, 
Mass.,  where  they  have  a  beautiful  and  pleasant  home. 

Jasper  Stone,  fifth  son  of  Phinehas  and  Hannah,  was  born 
Aug.  26,  1818  ;  married  (1)  Elizabeth  Ann  Gray,  Oct.  19, 
1845,  who  died  Feb.  17,  1847,  aged  25  years,  10  months, 
leaving  one  son;  (2)  Mary  Patten  Swett,  May  6,  1849. 
They  have  one  son  and  five  daughters.  They  reside  in  Charles- 
town,  where  Mr.  Stone  carried  on  the  jewelry  business  for 
about  forty  years.     He  was  on  the  board  of  aldermen  in  1878. 

Joseph  Stone,  sixth  son  of  Phinehas  and  Hannah,  was  born 
Aug.  12,  1820.  He  kept  grocery  store  at  Charlestown  about 
three  years  ;  studied  law  in  the  office  of  Abel  Gushing,  Boston  ; 
died  of  consumption  at  Charlestown,  Jan.  28,  1846,  aged  25 
years,  5  months,  17  days,  and  is  buried  in  the  tomb  at  Box- 


Jonathan  Stone,  the  seventh  son  of  Phinehas  and  Hannah, 
was  born  in  Weare,  N.  H.,  Apr.  29,  1828  ;  was  engaged  in  the 
grocery  and  provision  business  in  Charlestown  ;  built,  owned 
and  let  houses  and  stores ;  was  elected  and  served  on  the 
common  council  in  1872  ;  was  elected  mayor  of  Charlestown  in 
1873.  He  was  the  last  mayor  of  Charlestown,  it  being 
annexed  to  Boston,  Jan.  1,  1874.  He  was  married  twice ; 
Dec.  29,  1867,  he  married  Sarah  Rebecca,  daughter  of  Abra- 
ham and  Caroline  S.  Andrews,  of  Groton,  Mass.,  who  died 
Feb.  17,  1862,  leaving  one  daughter,  Sarah  Lizzie,  and  a  son, 
John  Henry.  July  23,  1863,  he  married  Mary  Louisa 
Andrews,  a  sister  of  his  first  wife.  They  have  one  daughter, 
Carrie  Louisa.  Mr.  Stone  built  a  fine  residence  in  Revere,  Mass., 
on  land  formerly  owned  l)y  Dr.  Tuckerman,  on  the  rise  of 
ground  west  from  the  corner  of  Broadway  and  Aladdin  Streets, 
where  he  moved  June  21,  1876,  and  now  resides. 


.  ^/^i6/'i/£a.(c 

The  Stone  Family.  187 

[From  items  compiled  by  Miss  Mary  Taylor.] 

Mr.  Silas  Stone  built  the  house  that  Mr.  Philip  Cunning- 
ham now  occupies,  al)Out  the  close  of  the  last  century.  He 
left  Groton,  his  native  place,  took  his  bride  and  settled  in 
Templeton.  His  wife,  Eunice,  was  a  daughter  of  Phinehas 
and  Sarah  Fairbanks,  of  Harvard.  Mr.  Stone  first  met  Miss 
Fairbanks  at  an  evening  party,  and  it  was  love  at  first  sight. 
Miss  Fairbanks  was  a  poetess,  possessed  of  great  personal  beauty 
and  loveliness  of  character.  Tliey  spent  their  declining  3-ears 
in  the  home  which  he  had  l)uilt.  living  to  a  great  age,  Mr. 
Stone  being  eighty-six  and  Mrs.  Stone  eighty-five  at  time  of 
death.  Three  of  their  daughters  married  and  Avent  to  New 
York,  which  at  that  time  was  the  far  West,  rec^uiring  an  eight 
days'  journey.  Eunice  married  Jonas  Faulkner  and  lived  in 
Rindge,  X.  H.  Betse}-  Fairbanks  Stone  married  Capt.  Oliver 
Taylor,  Aug.  12,  1800,  and  ever  after  lived  in  Boxborough. 
Silas,  young,  active,  enterprising,  went  to  Baltimore  and  was 
afterward  unheard  from.  Jasper  lived  in  lioston  for  a  few 
years,  but  after  his  l)rother  Joseph's  death  returned  to  the  old 
homestead  and  cared  for  his  parents  the  remainder  of  their 
lives.  He  married  Mary  Babcock,  of  Weston,  ]Mass.  He  died 
when  seventy-six  years  of  age,  and  his  widow  lived  to  the  age 
of  ninety-three.  Jasper  Stone  ^^•as  a  man  interested  in  town 
business  (having  represented  his  district  in  the  Legislature),  in 
the  anti-slavery  cause,  in  the  church, —  a  good  neighbor  and 
kind  friend. 

Joseph  Stone,  the  fourth  of  these  brothers,  born  in  Harvard, 
Dec.  17,  1783,  died  at  thirty-eight.  He  was  a  young  man  of 
great  promise,  prepossessing  in  personal  appearance,  of  great 
energy  of  character,  and  intellectual  attainments.  In  society 
he  was  the  leading  man ;  as  a  townsman,  almost  every  im- 
portant office  was  laid  upon  him  ;  as  a  teacher  he  was  active  and 
faithful.  He  was  repeatedly  sent  to  the  Legislature,  appointed 
a  Justice  of  the  Peace,  and  a  deacon  of  the  Congregational 
church.  Few  men  of  his  age  have  filled  so  many  high  offices 
so  faithfully  and  so  well.  The  following  is  a  poem  composed 
by  Mrs.  Eunice  Stone  on  the  death  of  her  son.  Joseph,  who 
died  Nov.  4,  1822  : 

188       Boxhorough  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

November  fourth,  that  mournful  day 

I  shall  remember  long, 
When  pale  relentless  Death  came  in 

And  took  my  darling  son. 

While  friends  stood  weeping  all  around, 

My  heart  was  pierced  with  pain ; — 
Nor  will  that  sweet  and  pleasant  voice 

E'  er  cheer  my  heart  again. 

While  angel  bands  stood  'round  tlie  bed, 

And  filled  the  solemn  room, 
A  smile  of  joy  shone  on  his  face  ; — 

They  then  conduct  him  home. 

By  faith  I  traced  his  wondrous  way 

Where  the  sweet  angels  sing  ; 
And  thought  how  loud  the  harps  would  play 

When  Joseph  entered  in. 

And  is  he  gone  to  realms  above  ? 

Dear  Jesus,  he  is  thine ; 
Freely  I  cast  him  on  thy  arms, — 

They  tc  sweeter  arms  than  mine. 

Prepare  my  soul  to  follow  too, 

'Mid  all  the  glorious  ranks, 
And  hail  my  dear  beloved  son. 

On  Canaan's  flowery  banks. 

He  married  Sarah  W.  Stowe,  of  Hillsborough,  N.  H.,  an 
nunt  of  Benjamin  S.  Hager.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Silas  Stone  made  one 
trip  to  New  York  to  visit  their  two  remaining  daughters,  one, 
Mrs.  Lucy  Mallory,  having  died  and  left  a  little  girl.  This 
child,  whose  name  was  Sally  M.,  they  brought  back  with  them, 
and  their  home  became  hers  until  she  married  Aaron  Fiske,  of 
Natick,  Mar.  29,  1881,  where  she  now  lives  in  the  pleasant 
home  of  her  daughter,  Mrs.  Bruce. 


Miss  Mary  Taylor  furnishes  tlie  following  sketch  :— 

In  the  latter  part  of  the  seventeenth  century,  three  brothers 
by  tlie  name  of  Taylor  sailed  from  England  to  America,  making 
their  homes  within  a  mile  and  a  half  of  each  other.  Ephraim 
settled  on  the  place  wliere  ('.  H.  Burroughs  now  lives,  Phinehas 
on   what  is   known    as  the  Samuel    Hosmer    farm,    and    John 

The  Taylor  Fmnihi.  189 

on  the  Ca})taiii  'J'aylor  place.  His  sou  John,  born  1(397,  lived 
and  died  on  the  same  place.  His  children  were  John,  horn 
1719,  Jabe,  born  1722,  Solomon,  born  1724,  and  Hannah,  who 
married  Elijah  Willis,  Dec.  3,  1760.  In  1745  Solomon  mar- 
ried Mary  MacLaughlin,  who  was  born  on  the  water.  Their 
children  were  Molly,  born  1746,  married  Frederick  Walcott,  of 
Stow,  Mar.  29,  1761  ;  John,  born  1748  ;  Tabathj^  born  Nov. 
13,  1749;  Lydia,  born  Feb.  10,  1752  ;  Oliver,  born  Mar.  30, 
1754,  married  Betty  Wetherbee,  who  was  born  Feb.  11,  1753  — 
the  daughter  of  Phinehas  and  Betty  Wetherbee,  and""  grand- 
daughter of  Daniel  Wetherbee; — Solomon,  born  Aug.  19, 
1756,  married  Anna  Whitman,  Mar.  7,  1777;  and  Betty,  born 
June  3,  1758,  married  Levi  Wheeler,  Feb.  3,  1776,  and  settled 
in  Boxborough. 

The  descendants  of  Lydia  live  in  Canaan,  N.  H.  John 
enlisted  in  the  Revolutionary  War,  where  he  remained 
through  the  seven  years'  struggle.  Oliver  remained  on  the 
farm  with  his  father  after  his  marriage,  and  his  five  children, 
Oliver,  Hezekiah,  Jonathan,  Betty  and  Lovell  were  born  there. 
Hezekiah  married  Sally  Wetherbee,  of  Harvard.  He  was  in 
consumption  and  was  married  on  his  bed.  Jonathan  married 
Lucy  Whitcomb  and  lived  and  died  in  Chesterfield,  N.  H. 
Betty  married  Oliver  Mead,  lived  a  few  years  in  Chesterfield, 
N.  H.,  and  then  returned  to  Boxborough,  living  and  dying 
upon  the  place  now  in  possession  of  Walter  Mead.  Lovell 
married  Mercy  Rand  and  settled  in  Stow.  Oliver  lived  in  the 
house  with  his  father,  working  on  the  farm  or  making  barrels, 
as  best  suited  their  convenience.  Aug.  12,  1800,  he  married 
Betsey  Fairbanks  Stone.  Their  children  were  Lucy,  Betsey, 
Franklin,  Nancy,  Varnum,  Sally  Stone,  Mary  and  Eunice. 
Lucy  married  Nathaniel  Mead  and  settled  Within  half  a  mile  of 
the  old  place,  where  in  her  new  and  pleasant  home,  she,  with 
her  husband  and  children,  lived  until  near  the  close  of  her  life. 
Her  family  are  described  in  the  Mead  family  in  this  book. 
Franklin  v/as  a  cooper  by  trade,  and  an  excellent  workman. 
He  died  unmarried,  June  21,  1840.  Sally  Stone  married 
Phinehas  W.  Houghton,  of  Harvard,  where  they  lived  awhile 
and  then    returned    to   Boxborouoh.       She    left    no    children. 

190        Bo.rhoroiigh  :  a  Ncir  Enr/Iand  Toirn  and  iis  People. 

Eunice  Taylor,  a  lady  of  purity  and  loveliness  of  character,  died 
young.  Miss  Mary  Tajdor,  the  only  one  remaining  of  the 
family,  whose  early  and  middle  life  was  spent  in  teaching,  is 
now  living  in  her  own  house  in  the  pleasant  village  of  West 
Acton.  Captain  ^^arnum  Taylor,  then  a  commissioned  officer, 
married  Mary  I).  Bowers,  of  Harvard.  Tlieir  children  were 
Antoinette  Lovina,  Marietta  Nancy,  Sarah  Ann  Stone,  and 
Warren  A'arnum.  Antoinette  L.  married  Luther  Barnard,  a 
provision  dealer  in  Chelsea,  whose  business  was  kept  up  until 
his  death.  In  less  than  a  year  after  her  husband's  death  she 
buried  her  little  girl.  Ten  years  afterwards  she  married  Mr. 
J).  W.  Cobleigh  and  settled  on  the  limestone  farm  in  Box- 
borough.  Marietta  N.  married  Charles  H.  Holton,  and  resides 
in  West  Acton.  He  is  a  son  of  Dea,  Leonard  Holton,  of  Bos- 
ton. His  parents  are  buried  at  Mount  Auburn.  Sarah  Ann 
S.  married  George  H.  I^aw,  and  lives  in  South  Boston.  Their 
children  are  Edith  May,  Kalph  Henry,  and  Arthur  Warren. 
Warren  X.  married  Miss  Susan  Cutler,  and  they  have  two 
children.  Bertha  May  and  Warner  Varnum.  Mr.  Taylor  is  a 
provision  dealer,  doing  good  business  in  Wakefield.  Warner 
y.  is  the  last  one  in  this  l)ranch  of  the  family  to  perpetuate  the 

]\Iiss  Nancy  Taylor  married  Mr.  Jacob  Littlefield.  Sheldon, 
their  only  child,  was  born  Feb.  18,  1834,  and  his  mother  dying 
in  his  infancy,  he  was  left  in  the  care  of  his  mother's  family, 
and  one  after  another  passing  away,  the  guardian  care  and 
tutorage  devolved  on  Miss  Mary  Taylor,  his  mother's  sister. 
At  seventeen  he  left  the  old  homestead  for  the  city,  but  aftei' 
spending  a  year  in  a  gro(;ery  store  in  Charlestown,  he,  with  two 
or  three  of  his  old  school-mates,  attended  New  Ipswich 
Academy  one  term.  During  his  stay  there  he  accepted  an  appli- 
cation to  teach  a  winter  term  at  Brookline,  N.  H.  So  success- 
ful was  he  in  his  new  vocation  that  his  services  were  solicited 
for  another  month  to  bs  paid  for  by  subscription.  He  returned 
to  his  native  town  and  spent  a  few  weeks  in  a  shoe-shop,  but 
in  early  spring  went  to  Charlestown  again  and  engaged  him- 
self to  iNIr.  Palmer,  a  provision  dealer,  where  he  remained  until 

Th'  Taylor  Fa  mil  if.  191 

1855,  when,  being  of  age,  he  set  sail  in  a  vessel  bound  for  Cali- 
fornia. Crossing  the  isthmus  on  mules  he  took  passage  on  the 
other  side,  and  landed  at  the  Golden  Gate.  After  spending  a 
few  months  there  and  at  Marysville,  he  proceeded  to  the  mines. 
Here  successes  and  reverses  alternated  continually :  but  never 
discouraged,  he  at  length  opened  a  store.  He  had  made  many 
friends  and  business  was  good.  He  was  soon  appointed  Jus- 
tice of  the  Peace.  Here  he  remained  until  1864,  when  he 
went  to  San  Francisco  and  engaged  in  business  as  a  commission 
merchant,  remaining  there  twenty-four  years.  In  1878  he 
made  a  triji)  to  his  native  State  and  the  home  of  his  childhood, 
not  having  taken  a  holiday  for  fourteen  years.  In  1870  he 
married  Miss  Nancy  South  wood,  and  in  '87  or  '88,  they,  with 
their  growing  family,  sought  a  home  in  a  more  congenial 
climate.  He  is  now  one  of  the  leading  men,  a  wealthy  and 
honored  citizen,  of  the  fast-growing  city  of  Anaheim,  Southern 

When  the  first  three  pioneers,  Ephraim,  Phinehas,  and 
John  Taylor  came  to  this  section,  the  countrj-  was  wild  and 
wooded.  They  felled  trees  and  built  their  houses.  Their 
farms  joining,  although  a  mile  and  a  half  from  each  other  they 
thouglit  themselves  near  neighbors.  In  the  year  1782  the  old 
log  house  owned  and  occupied  by  Captain  Oliver  Tayloj-,  Sr., 
was  burned  with  all  its  treasures.  It  was  just  after  harvest- 
ing, when  the  corn  was  in  the  garret  and  the  vegetables  in  the 
cellar.  The  neighbors  for  miles  around,  kind,  helpful,  and 
full  of  sympathy,  gave  expression  to  their  feelings  by  felling- 
trees,  hewing  timber,  digging  a  new  cellar,  and  raising  the 
frame  —  of  green  timber,  wliich  was  all  they  had.  It  was  of 
oak  and  is  sound  today.  Although  rude,  it  was  a  shelter,  and 
with  its  three  huge  tire-places  they  called  it  comfortable.  So 
quickly  was  the  work  despatched  that  upon  Thanksgiving  Day 
they  were  living  in  their  own  home.  With  hearts  overflowing 
with  gratitude  they  partook  of  the  bounty  prepared  by  the 
neighbors,  who  were  present  to  receive  their  thanks.  Not  a 
man  or  woman  took  a  cent  of  pay  for  all  this  work.  Ever 
after  this  it  was  Captain  Taylor's  custom  upon  every  returning 

192        Bo.rhoro>i(/h  :   a  Neir  Etujlaml  Tmni  and  its  People. 

Thanksgiving  Day,  as  children  and  grandchildren  stood  around 
the  festal  board,  to  ask  a  blessing,  and  after  the  meal  to  return 

In  the  year  1826,  Caj^tain  Taylor's  wife  died  suddenly  on 
Monday  evening,  and  was  buried  on  Thanksgiving  Day. 
Without  eating  or  driidving,  he  sat  by  her  side  until  she  was 
laid  away  ;  all  he  could  say  was,  "  I  can't  be  with  her  long." 

When  a  boy  of  sixteen.  Captain  Taylor  brought  a  beautiful 
little  elm  from  Wolf  Swamp  on  his  back,  and  set  it  southeast 
of  the  old  log  house.  The  wind  blowing  from  the  same 
direction  during  the  tire,  the  tree  was  not  injured,  not  even  a 
twig.  This  tree  was  his  darling  pet  and  received  his  care  for 
seventy  years.  In  1883,  July  4,  just  one  hundred  and  one 
years  after  the  burning  of  the  old  house,  the  grandchildren 
made  a  festival  in  honor  of  their  grandfather  and  his  pet  tree. 
The  long,  flowing  branches,  by  actual  measurement  from  north 
to  south,  extended  eighty-seven  and  a  half  feet.  In  the  shadow 
of  these  drooping  branches  the  tables  were  set,  laden  with 
every  luxurj^  Grandchildren,  great-grandchildren,  great- 
great-grandchildren,  and  great-great-great-grandchildren  — 
Miss  Emma  Cutler,  of  the  sixth  generation  —  neighbors, 
friends,  and  invited  guests,  came  till  they  numbered  nearly  one 
hundred.  The  minister  Avas  there  to  express  the  children's 
thanks  for  the  past,  and  invoke  Heaven's  blessing  on  all  the 
future  generations.  After  the  repast  —  the  tables  cleared—  the 
company  with  joyous  hearts  Avere  seated  in  the  shadow  of  the 
drooping  branches  of  the  old  tree,  while  two  little  girls,  Edith 
M.  Law  and  Bertha  May  Taylor,  on  a  platform  erected  for  the 
purpose,  gave  recitations.  Ca[)tain  \^arnum  Taylor  wrote  and 
read  a  brief  sketch  of  family  history.  In  speaking  of  the  old 
elm  he  said,  "  It  measures  in  circumference,  one  foot  from  the 
ground,  17  1-2  feet,  and  is  estimated  to  contain  at  least  five 
cords  of  wood.  My  friends,  we  witness  at  this  late  day  the 
life  of  a  noteworthy  tree  that  long  existed  before  any  of  us 
flrst  breathed  the  breath  of  life,  and  we  invoke  the  Divine 
blessing  to  rest  upon  it  and  prolong  its  life  for  at  least  another 
century,  that    the  same    unabated  patriotism  may  then  exist  as 

The    Taiflor  Famihi.  108 

is  manifested  by  us  here  today.  And  I,  this  fourth  day  of  July, 
1883,  especially  recommend  that  henceforth  this  tree  may  he 
known  and  called,  '  The  Indei)endence  Elm  of  Boxborough.'  " 
A  poem  was  written  and  read  by  Miss  Mary  Taylor,  entitled 
"  The  Old  Elm  Tree,"  from  which  we  quote : 

"  Wave  on,  old  tree,  wave  on, 
In  all  thy  grandeur  and  thy  grace, 
Wave  on,  as  thou  hast  ever  done. 
Blessing  the  human  race/' 

Mr.  Adelbert  Mead  congratidated  the  company  on  the  success 
of  the  day  and  related  some  reminiscences  of  his  boyhood  with 
legard  to  his  honored  sire.  The  little  giils  sang,  Miss  Lucie 
]M.  Patch,  accompanist,  and  ]\lr.  Mead  in  his  own  happy  words, 
in  behalf  of  the  fiiends,  presented  Captain  Taylor  with  a  gold- 
headed  cane,  and  Mrs.  Taylor,  a  sum  of  money  representing  a 
pair  of  gold-bowed  spectacles.  Captain  Taylor,  with  heart 
overflowing  with  gratitude  for  the  love  that  prom])led  the  gift, 
responded  in  his  genial  manner.  Just  three  years  and  one  day 
from  that  time  Captain  Taylor  suddenl}-  passed  awa}-.  He 
was  a  man  like  his  father,  of  noble  and  generous  impulse  and 
strict  iutegrity  of  character.  The  old  homestead,  retainiug  its 
name  for  two  hundred  years  without  inten  uption,  is  still  owned 
by  a  descendant,  Mrs.  D.  W.  Cobleigh. 

Solomon  Taylor,  mentioned  in  the  early  part  of  this  sketch, 
and  his  wife,  Anna  Whitman,  were  the  parents  of  ten  children  : 
Anna,  Mary,  born  Nov.  5,  1780, —  Mrs.  Silas  Hoar's  mother, — 
Elizabeth,  Solomon,  John,  Mercy,  Susanna,  Daniel,  Jane  Whit- 
man, and  Sally  Brewer.  Anna  married  Aaion  Pollard,  of 
Lancaster,  and  removed  to  Boston,  where  they  reared  a  large 
famil}'.  Mary  married  Silas  Wetherbee.  (See  Wetherbee 
family.)  Elizabeth  was  unmarried.  Solomon  married,  and 
died  in  Westford,  leaving  no  children.  John  married  Sarah 
Burditt,  of  Lancaster,  and  they  have  several  children.  Mercy 
married  Joseph  Randall,  and  settled  in  Boston.  They  have 
four  children.  Susanna  married  John  Lowell,  a  sea-captain,  of 
Bath,  ]Me.,  and  they  have  two  children.  Daniel  was  killed, 
when  eighteen  or  nineteen  years  of  age,   by  the   caving  in  of 

194        Boxhoroujjh  :  a  Netv  Enyhmd  Town  and  itx  People. 

the  bank  of  the  oUl  turnpike  which  he  was  engaged  in  1)uikl- 
ing.  Jane  Whitman  man-ied  Oliver  Davis,  son  of  that  Oliver 
who  was  selectman  and  assessor  in  1833,  and  '34,  and  brother 
of  Eli  Davis,  of  Littleton.  Sallj  Biewer  married  Robert 
Alden,  of  Boston,  and  of  their  five  children,  three  daughters 
and  an  only  son  are  settled  in  Washington,  D.  C,  and  the 
remaining  daughter  is  married  and  resides  in  Marlborough. 

Solomon  Taylor,  the  father,  lived  upon  the  old  Oliver  Taylor 
farm  until  1798,  when  he  removed  to  Harvard. 

Jonathan  and  Lucy  (Whitcomb)  Taylor  were  the  parents 
of  three  children,  Lucy,  Harriet  and  Mehitable.  Lucy  married 
(libson  Willard,  of  Chesterlield,  N.  H.  They  lived  and  died 
in  Massachusetts.  Harriet  married  Elisha  Hill,  of  Chesterfield, 
where  they  lived  and  died.  Mehitable  married  a  Mr.  Wilson, 
and  moved  to  Nebraska,  where  they  died.  Whitcomb,  their 
only  son,  smart  and  enterprising,  is  now  living  in  the  place 
where  his  parents  spent  their  later  days. 

Lovell  and  Mercy  (Rand )  Taylor  were  the  parents  of  four 
children,  Mercy,  Lovell,  Oliver  and  Frances  Ann.  Mercy 
married  Silas  Davis,  of  West  Acton,  lived  theie  a  few  years, 
and  then  went  to  Charlestown.  Simon,  their  youngest  son, 
graduated  at  Harvard,  and  is  now  Counsellor  at  Law  in  Boston. 
Lovell  married  Mary  Ann  Moore,  of  Rockbottom.  He  died 
young.  Oliver  lives  at  the  old  homestead  in  Stow\  Frances 
Ann  married  Henry  Gates,  of  Stow,  a  wealthy  farmer  in  that 

The  Silas  Taylor  family  of  one  hundred  years  ago  have 
descendants  living  in  Acton.  The  family  were  very  active  in 
all  that  pertained  to  the  interest  of.  the  town  in  early  years, 
having  served  the  town  in  many  positions  of  public  trust. 
Several  of  the  slabs  in  the  lower  'Ojurying-ground  "'  bear  the 
names  of  members  of  this  family. 




whitco:mb  —  ^YOOD    family  —  dea.    m.    e.    wood  — 



So  far  back  as  we  can  trace  them,  there  seem  to  have  been 
three  Wetherbee  families  settled  in  town,  though  perhaps, 
could  we  trace  the  line  a  little  farther,  we  should  find  —  what 
is  supposed  to  l)e  the  case — that  there  were  only  two  families 
originally,  and  that  the  heads  of  these  were  brothers.  Phine- 
has  Wetherbee,  whose  father,  John  Wetherbee,  was  here  as 
early  as  1717,  or  1727,  settled  on  the  farm  where  Silas  Hoar 
now  lives,  and  was  ancestor  of  the  line  of  Silas,  Simeon,  Nor- 
man and  probably  Charles  Wetherbee.  The  farm  has  been  in 
possession  of  the  family  from  veiy  early  times,  and  descendants 
of  the  eighth,  ninth  and  tenth  generations  in  the  persons  of 
Mrs.  Lucy  (Wetherbee)  Hoar,  her  daughter,  Mrs.  Mercy 
(Hoar)  Wetherbee,  and  the  children  of  Mercy  (Hoar)  and 
Charles  T.  Wetherbee,  are  now  occupying  the  old  homestead. 
The  house  now  standing  was  built  more  than  150  years  ago. 
There  are  old  deeds  and  wills  of  the  time  of  Queen  Anne  in 
possession  of  the  present  family.  A  remote  ancestor  of  the 
family,  becoming  alarmed  lest  he  should  in  some  way  lose 
his  wealth,  is  said  to  have  hidden  a  large  sum  of  money  upon 
the  estate.  The  story  has  been  handed  down  from  one  to  an- 
another,  and  later  generations  have  sought  for  the  rumored 
wealth,  but,  although  at  one  time  the  sum  of  f 30  or  f40  was 
found  in  a  drill-hole  in  a  rock,  with  a  bullet  placed  over  it, 
nothing-  more  has  ever  been  discovered. 

196        BoxhorovgJi :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

Silas  and  Bettj  Wetherl)ee  were  the  great-grandparents 
of  Mrs.  Lucy  (Wetherbee)  Hoar  —  wife  of  Silas  Hoar — who 
is  the  oldest  representative  of  this  branch  of  the  Wetherbee 
family  now  living  in  town.  Her  grandparents  were  Simeon 
and  Mary  (Robbins)  Wetherbee,  and  her  parents,  Silas  and 
Mary  (Taylor)  Wetherbee,  daughter  of  Solomon  and  Anna. 
The  first  Silas  Wetherbee  gave  the  meeting-house  lot  in  1775  ; 
he  was  much  interested  in  both  church  and  district  when  they 
were  in  their  infancy.  He  was  selectman  in  1783.  Silas  and 
Mary  were  the  parents  of  fourteen  children  :  Simeon,  born  Nov. 
4,  1800  ;  Stillmau,  Andrew,  born  Jan.  21,  1804,  Silas  Whit- 
man, born  Feb.  16,  1806,  Daniel,  Emory,  Mary  Ann,  Susan- 
nah Lowell,  Solomon  Taylor,  who  died  young,  John  Robbins, 
Luc}',  born  June  21,  1820,  and  Clarissa,  her  twin,  who  died 
in  infancy,  Eliza  Jane  Brewer,  and  Mary  Randall.  Simeon 
mariied  Persis  Whitney ;  Stillman  married  Elizabeth  Sargent, 
of  Stow,  and  their  only  daughter  married  Simeon  Green,  of 
Harvard.  Andrew  married  Maiy  Sargent  and  settled  in  town. 
Of  their  eight  children  only  four  are  now  living.  Augustine 
resides  in  Acton,  and  his  widowed  mother,  Mrs.  Mary  (Sar- 
gent) Wetherbee,  is  now  living,  at  the  advanced  age  of  eighty- 
eight  years,  in  Gardner,  Mass.  Silas  Whitman  married  Mary 
Sargent,  sister  of  Elizabeth,  and  went  to  Stow,  afterwards  settled 
in  Boxborough.  He  died  about  eight  years  ago  ;  his  wife  died 
several  years  before,  and  of  their  eight  children,  only  two  are 
now  living,  Mrs.  Jane  E.  Tuttle,  of  Fitchburg,  and  Stillman 
Wetherbee,  of  Ghelsea,  Mass.  Daniel  married  Nancy  Bulke- 
ley,  and  had  no  children  ;  Emory  married  Hannah  Dyer,  of 
Lowell.  He  died  young,  leaving  no  children.  She  lived  to 
the  age  of  eighty  years,  and  died  in  the  autumn  of  1889. 
Mary  Ann  married  George  Dolby  and  went  away  from  town ; 
Susannah  Lowell  married  Thomas  Johnston,  of  Boston,  and 
they  had  one  child.  ^Nlr.  Johnston  died  in  1888,  and  Mrs. 
Johnston  in  1889.  They  are  buried  in  the  cemetery  on  the 
hill.  John  Robl)ins  Wetherbee  married  Nancy  Goodwin,  of 
Boxborough,  and  settled  in  Bolton.  They  have  eight  children. 
Lucy   married   Silas  Hoar  and    settled   on  the  old  homestead 

Th,-     W,-fhn'hee    Fanuhj.  197 

place,  where  seven  generations  of  the  AVetherbee  family  had 
lived  before  her.  They  have  an  onl}-  daughter,  Mercy,  Avho 
married  Charles  T.  Wetherbee  —  of  another  branch  of  the 
Wetherbee  family  —  and  they  have  three  childi-en,  Harrj-  1^., 
Charles  L.,  and  Daniel.  Eliza  Jane  Brewer  married  William 
Eaton,  of  Clinton,  and  they  have  three  children.  Mere}'  Ran- 
dall married  Stillman  Houghton,  of  Worcester.  The}'  have 
one  son. 

Simeon  and  Persis  (Whitney)  Wetherbee  were  the  parents 
of  seven  children  :  Andrew,  Simeon,  Caroline,  Samuel  Nor- 
man, Silas,  Edward,  who  died  in  infancy,  and  Edward.  An- 
drew married  Nancy  Wheeler,  of  Littleton,  settled  in  town,  and 
removed  to  Stow ;  Simeon  married  Caroline  Blanehard,  and 
settled  in  town  ;  Caroline  married  Oliver  Mead,  of  this  town  ; 
Samuel  Norman  married  Caroline  Wheeler,  of  Stow,  and  settled 
on  the  farm  where  his  father  had  lived  before  him.  They  have 
two  children  living,  Mrs.  Elsie  Davidson  and  Dora.  .Silas 
married  Mary  Parmenter,  of  Marlborough,  aiid  resides  in  that 
place ;  Edward  married  Susan  Withington,  and  the}-,  with 
tlieir  two  children,  Persis  and  Alfred,  are  residents  of  Box- 

The  ancestor  of  another  branch  of  the  Wetherbee  family 
settled  on  the  farm  Avhere  John  H.  Whitcomb  now  lives,  and 
one  of  the  family,  for  at  least  four  generations,  has  borne  the 
name  of  Samuel.  Samuel,  who  was  the  son  of  Samuel  and 
Sarah  Wetherbee,  and  Betsey,  his  wife,  were  the  parents  of 
seven  children  :  Charles,  Betsey,  Sally,  Lucinda,  Lucy,  Dolly 
and  Samuel  (1807-72).  Charles,  Lucinda  and  Lucy  died 
young.  Betsey  married  Daniel  Houghton,  of  Harvard  ;  Sally 
married  Ephraim  Whitcomb,  of  Littleton ;  Dolly  married  Joel 
Hayward,  of  Ashby,  and  Samuel  married  Maria  Fletcher  for  his 
first  wife,  and  for  the  second,  Naomi  Chandler,  of  Maine. 
Samuel  and  Naomi  (Chandler)  Wetherbee  were  the  parents  of 
two  children, —  jVIaria,  who  married  John  IT.  Whitcoml),  and  is 
settled  on  the  old  Wetherbee  place  (their  children,  Kal})h  and 
Ira.  are  the  fifth  generation  that  have  occupied  it),  and  Chaiies 
T.,  who  married  Merc}^  Hoar. 

198        Boxhoroufih :  a  New  Enifland  Town  and  its  Peojyle. 

Pliiiielias,  the  ancestor  of  a  tliird  branch  of  the  Wetherhee 
family,  was  quite  an  old  man  in  1770,  and  owned  the  farm 
Avhere  W.  H.  Furbush  now  lives.  His  son,  Phinehas,  OAvned 
tlie  place  in  1783.  The  first  house,  of  logs,  was  built  in  the 
second  field  north  of  Mr.  Parker's,  the  original  grant  of  land 
containing  something  more  than  200  acres.  Old  deeds  show 
that  they  were  in  quite  good  circumstances  for  those  times, 
owning  not  only  this  land,  Init  making  quite  large  money  trans- 
actions. As  an  illustration  may  be  mentioned  the  fact  that  the 
first  Phinehas  Wetherbee  paid  #1000  to  a  man  in  Littleton  as 
a  substitute  in  the  army,  1775-1778.  They  were  active  and 
interested  in  town  and  public  affairs.  The  first  deed  describes 
the  land  as  being  in  Littleton,  in  the  Province  of  Massachusetts 
Bay,  in  the  tenth  year  of  the  reign  of  George  the  Third.  Mr. 
Augustus  W.  Wetherbee,  the  last  and  only  representative  of 
this  branch  in  town  says,  "I  have  heard  my  grandfather  speak 
of  the  first  of  the  family,  and  how  they  often  saw  the  Lidians 
looking  into  their  windows  at  night.''  I  quote  also  from  his 
Centennial  speech  :  "  It  is  something  more  than  one  hundred 
and  sixty  years  since  my  ancestors  broke  the  soil  and  built 
their  cabin  in  the  field  just  back  of  the  house  now  owned  by 
Mr.  Parker,  and  for  one  hundred  and  fifty-five  years  they  lived 
there  and  at  the  old  homestead  where  Mr.  Furbush  now  lives 
and  tilled  those  same  acres ;  and  there  was  I  born,  and  here 
have  1  lived  the  most  of  my  life.  In  yonder  graveyard,  one  of 
the  first  stones  erected  is  to  the  memory  of  one  of  my  ancestors. 
Well  do  I  remember  the  stories  of  my  grandmother,  of  the 
eaii}'  settlers'  struggle  with  the  Indian  and  wild  beast,  of  how 
they  used  to  go  to  market  on  hoi'seback,  with  their  saddle- 
bags on  before  and  a  carcass  or  two  of  veal  or  mutton  strapped 
on  behind,  the  roads  mere  cart  paths  then  ;  of  how  they  used 
to  come  up  to  worship  God  on  this  verj'  spot  on  Avhich  we  now 
stand,  on  horseback,  the  husband  riding  before,  and  the  wife 
and  two  or  three  children  on  a  pillion  behind." 

Phinehas  Wetherbee  had  seven  children  :  John,  Daniel, 
Phinehas,  Betty,  Caty,  Dolly  aiul  Hannah.  John  Wetherbee 
born  Apr.  19,  1783,  married    Linda  Wood,  born  May  17,  1784, 


OUrer    Wetherhee.  100 

and  tliey  liad  tliiee  cliildren,  Oliver,  John  and  Lucinda.  John 
AVetherbee,  Sr.,  was  very  energetic  and  enterprising,  but  at  tlie 
age  of  twenty-three,  after  over-exertion  in  fightiijg  a  fire  in  tlie 
Avoods,  took  a  severe  cold,  which  resulted  in  paralysis  of  his 
right  side,  so  that  for  twenty-eight  years  he  could  not  walk  a 
step,  and  for  fifty-eight  years  he  was  able  to  do  very  little.  He 
acquired,  however,  quite  a  property,  owning  half  of  tlie  original 
farm.  He  was  town  treasurer  for  quite  a  number  of  years,  and 
was  especially  interested  in  church  affairs.  He  died  May  18, 
1864;  his  wife,  Linda,  died  March  2,  1863. 


Oliver,  son  of  John  and  Linda  Wetherbee  (1805-1875), 
married  ]Mary  Whitcomb,  and  tliey  had  three  children,  Jona- 
than Kimball  Wood,  Martha  M.  and  ^Marietta  C.  Mi-s.  ]\Jary 
( Whitcomb)  Wetherbee  is  still  living,  at  the  age  of  eighty-four 
years,  with  her  son  Kimball,  who  married  S.  Jennie  Tuttle  and 
resides  at  South  Acton.  Kimball  Wetherbee  commenced 
work  wdth  the  Tuttles,  at  South  Acton,  as  a  clerk,  and  worked 
his  way  up  to  his  present  position,  one  of  the  firm  of  Tuttle, 
Jones  and  Wetherbee.  He  has  been  much  in  town  office,  and 
has  l)een  several  times  a  candidate  for  the  (ieneral  Court. 
Martha  M.  Wetherbee  (1839-1865)  is  said  to  have  been  "One 
of  the  best  of  women,  active  everywhere,  a  splendid  teacher  and 
musician."  Marietta  C.  (1850-1880)  married  Charles  B. 
Stone,  and  had  one  daughter,  Elma,  who  died  in  1890,  at  her 
father's  home  in  W^est  Acton. 

Oliver  Wetherbee  commenced  teaching  when  about  twenty 
3^ears  of  age  and  became  quite  a  noted  teacher.  He  was  elected 
to  town  office  soon  after  he  was  twenty-one,  and  nearly  all  his 
life  held  office,  either  as  selectman,  assessor,  town  clerk  or 
treasurer,  often  more  than  one,  and  for  many  years  was  school 
superintendent.  He  and  his  brother  John  were  early  interested 
in  military  affairs,  both  belonging  to  the  company  in  town  as 
long  as  it  existed,  John  holding  the  rank  of  first  lieutenant. 
They  were  both  much  interested  in  music,  playing  together  in 
church  and  in  private  for  nearly  forty  years,  more  tlian  thirty 

200        BoxhorouiiJi :   a  Neir  England  Town  <(iid  iti<  People. 

years  in  cliurch.  Oliver  Wetherbee  was  chorister  forty-four 
years,  and  c;hurcli  cleik  eighteen  years.  Both  were  active  in 
political  and  pid)lic  affairs. 

John  Wetherbee  (1807-1874)  married  Louisa-  S,  IJrown, 
who  died  several  years  ago.  They  were  the  parents  of  two 
children  :  Francis  Wood,  who  died  in  infancy,  and  Augustus 


Augustus  Winslow,  son  of  J<din  and  Louisa  Wetherbee, 
born  Sept.  1,  ]8o9,  married  Hattie  Lane  (1844-1881J),  daughter 
of  Simon  P.  and  Clarissa  (Gregg)  Lane  of  Windham,  N.  H., 
Jan.  1,  1870,  and  settled  in  his  native  town.  He  graduated 
from  the  Pepperell  Academy  in  1861,  worked  with  his  father  on 
the  home  farm  until  1865,  engaged  in  the  produce  and  com- 
mission business  in  Boston  for  two  years,  and  then  learned  the 
business  of  carpenter  and  builder,  in  which  occupation  he  is 
engaged  at  the  j)resent  time.  Mr.  Wetherbee  is  interested  in 
all  that  pertains  to  the  town,  and  has  held  various  positions  of 
usefulness  therein.  He  was  sent  Representative  to  the  General 
Court  from  the  33d  Middlesex  district  in  1881,  and  was  chair- 
man of  the  Republican  town  committee  for  a  period  of  ten 
years.  He  is  especially  interested  in  church  affairs,  and  has 
held  the  position  of  chorister  of  the  Congregational  church  for 
many  years.  He  has  also  served  as  clerk  and  treasurer  thir- 
teen years,  and  as  Sunday-school  superintendent  three  years. 
For  eighteen  years  he  has  been  a  member  of  the  school  board,- — 
four  times  its  superintendent, —  and  for  fifteen  years,  secretary 
of  the  Farmers'  Clul).  Mr.  Wetherbee,  whose  name  appears 
among  those  of  our  soldiers,  served  in  the  late  war  three  years. 
He  enlisted  in  Co.  B.,  3 2d  Reg't,  Mass.  Volunteers,  November 
26,  1861,  and  was  discharged  November  26,  1864.  He  was 
with  the  Army  of  the  Potomac  in  the  2d  Brigade,  1st  Division, 
5th  Army  Corps,  from  Harrison's  Landing  to  Weldon  R.  R. 
Petersburg,  Va.,  and  served  two  years  as  commissary  sergeant 
of  the  1st  Division. 

Lucinda  Wetherbee  (1821-1882)  married  John  W.  Phillips, 
a  noted  architect.      He   superintended  the  erection  of  several 


John    Wefherhee.  201 

line  buildings  in  Lowell,  among  them  the  new  jail.  He  was 
an  Englishman  by  birth.  They  are  both  dead,  also  John  H., 
their  second  child  :  the  others,  William  W.,  Josie  and  Charles, 
are  living  in  Jonesville,  Wisconsin. 

Phinehas  AVetherbee,  of  West  Acton,  is  the  son  of  Daniel 
Wetherbee,  In-other  of  the  first  John  Wetherbee. 


Levi  Wetherbee,  the  father  of  John  Wetherbee,  was  a 
l»rother  of  Simeon  Wetherbee,  the  grandfather  of  Mr.  Jerome 
Triest  and  Mrs.  Silas  Hoar,  and  lived  on  the  farm  now  owned 
l)y  Mr.  E.  B.  Cobleigh.  He  married  Dorithy,  daughter  of 
Phinehas  Taylor,  AAho  lived  man}'  years  ago  upon  the  J5ur- 
rouglis'  place.  Slie  \\iis  a  woman  of  considerable  physical 
strength  and  ability.  ]\Ir.  and  Mrs.  Wetherbee  Avere  the  parents 
of  five  children  :  Levi,  Mary,  Lucy,  Silas  and  John.  Marj-  and 
Silas  died  young.  Levi,  born  June  25,  1785,  married  Sally 
Wetherbee  of  Ashby,  and  their  only  daughter,  Susan,  married 
J.  Colburn  Graham,  now  of  West  Acton.  The}^  have  one 
daughter,  Mariette,  who  married  James  Coburn  and  resides 
at  home.  Lucy  W^etherbee,  born  Mar.  27,  17U1,  married 
Samuel  Stevens, —  fifth  son  of  Benjamin  and  Lucy,  born  in 
Boxborough,  Aug.  27,1791,  a  cabinetmaker, —  and  went  to 
Marlborough,  whei-e  their  only  cliild,  Levi  Wetherbee,  was 
born.  They  afterwards  removed  to  Bolton,  and  here,  after  a 
residence  of  only  six  months,  Mr.  Stevens  died  and  his  widow 
returned  to  her  father's  home  in  Boxborough,  where  she  lived 
until  her  son's  marriage,  when  she  went  to  reside  Avith  him 
upon  the  adjoining  farm,  now  occupied  by  Deacon  S.  B.  Hager. 
She  remained  with  her  son  until  her  death.  He  removed  to  a 
residence  on  the  West  Acton  road,  near  the  Joseph  Hayward 
homestead,  but  the  house  being  burned, —  the  old  cellar  Avail 
may  still  be  seen, —  he  removed  to  West  Acton,  to  the  house 
now  occupied  by  Mr.  Varnuni  B.  Mead,  Avhich  he  built.  Dec. 
15,  1841,  Levi  Wetherbee  Stevens  married  Lucy  x\nn  Patch, 
of  Marlborough,  and  their  only  daughter,  Mary  Lucy,  married 
Albert  B.    Brown.     Mr.  Stevens  married  for  his  second  Avife, 

202        Bo.rhoroi((/h  :  a  JVew  Emjland  Town  mid  its  People. 

Mary,  (laiighter  of  Ebenezer  Hayward,  of  Boxborough.  Of 
their  three  chiklren  only  one  is  now  living,  Warren  Arthur, 
who  married  Miss  Emmie  Ireland,  of  Littleton,  and  \vith  his 
Avife  and  son,  resides  at  Robert's  Crossing,  Waltham,  where  he 
is  station-agent.  Mr.  Stevens'  third  wife  was  lioxanna  Hall, 
daughter  of  Deacon  Enoch  Hall,  of  West  Acton ;  the  fourth, 
Mary  Croston,  of  Haverhill.  Mv.  Stevens  is  a  carpenter  and 
builder,  and  a  finished  workman.  He  has  erected  quite  a 
number  of  houses  in  the  village  of  West  Acton  and  vicinity, 
among  them,  tliat  npon  tlie  Aldrich  place  Avhich  Arthur 
Blanchard  now  owns,  one  upon  the  Edwin  Stone  place.  Dr. 
Dodge's,  and  a  new  double  house  in  which  he  resides  at  the 
present  time.  In  former  years  Mr.  .Stevens  was  always  active 
in  the  various  village  enterprises,  having  been  on  the  school 
board,  and  president  of  the  Lyceum. 

Mr.  John  Wetherbee,  born  Nov.  7,  1800,  and  Mrs.  Susan- 
nah (Hayward)  Fairbanks,  of  Gardner,  ^lass.,  second  daughter 
of  James  Hayward,  of  Boxborough,  were  united  in  marriage  by 
Rev.  J.  AVarren  Cross,  Nov.  20,  1838.  Mrs.  Wetherbee 
brought  with  her  to  Boxborough  two  sons  by  a  former  marriage, 
James  Hayward  and  Sewell  Fairbanks.  James  H.  married 
Anna  M.,  daughter  of  Ira  and  Susan  (Piper)  Gibbs,  of  Boston. 
Their  only  child,  J.  Hayward,  died  when  only  five  years  of 
age.  Mr.  James  H.  Fairbanks,  the  father,  died  Aug.  23,  1865, 
aged  34  years.  Sewell  married  Caroline,  daughter  of  Ai 
Blood,  of  Boston.  The  names  of  their  five  children  are  as 
follows :  Fannie  B.,  James  L.,  Carrie  L,  Emma  F.,  and  Bertha 
]M.  The  two  last  named  died  in  infancy.  The  mother  died 
Feb.  13,  1875.  Mr.  Fairbanks  married  for  his  second  wife, 
Mrs.  Carrie  J.  (Brown)  Boyt,  of  Denmark,  Iowa,  daughter  of 
Joseph  Brown,  of  Groton,  Mass.  Mr.  Sewell  Fairbanks  died  at 
Boston  Highlands,  Mar.  7,  1891,  aged  58  years,  and  4  months. 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  John  Wetherbee  settled  on  the  home  farm, 
and  their  three  children,  Pollen  A.,  Susan  A.  and  Emmaetta  F., 
were  all  born  at  the  old  homestead.  Mr.  Wetherbee  was 
Orderly  Sergeant  in  the  Military  Company  in  Boxborough  as 
long  as    it  existed,  and   his   regimentals, —  lace-trimmed  coat. 

The    Wutcomh  FamUij.  203 

liat.  and  sword, —  are  still  in  possession  of  the  family.  He  was 
one  of  the  financial  "  pillars  of  the  church  "  in  Boxborough, 
always  giving  liberally  as  God  had  prospered  him,  for  the  sup- 
port of  His  cause.  Mr.  Wetherbee  removed  to  West  Acton  in 
1855,  where  he  died  July  31,  1858.  His  wife  died  the  same 
year,  Oct.  13,  1858.  Their  children  reside  in  West  Acton  at 
the  present  time.  Susan  A.,  the  second  daughter,  married  Mr. 
Delette  H.  Hall,  son  of  Deacon  Enoch  and  Emeline  (Hosmer ) 
Hall,  of  West  Acton,  of  the  firm  of  Hall  and  Sons,  Wooden 
Ware  Manufacturers,  and  they  have  four  children,  Eugene  L., 
Bertram  D.,  Etta  R.,  and  A.  Stanley  Hall.  Ellen  A.  and  Fannie 
E.  Wetherbee  reside  at  the  home  place  where  they  have  always 
lived  since  going  to  West  Acton  —  with  the  exception  of  six 
years  '  75-  '81  spent  in  Boston  in  charge  of  their  brother's  house 
after  his  wife's  death  —  the  house  having  been  previously  built 
by,  jMr.  Wetherbee,  to  rent.  Having  been  left  orphans  when  the 
youngest  daughter  was  only  eight  years  of  age,  the  eldest,  then 
but  fifteen,  became,  as  it  were,  the  head  of  the  family,  keeping 
them  all  together  under  the  home  roof,  and  exercising  towards 
her  younger  sisters  the  watchfulness  and  care  of  a  mother. 
Miss  Fannie  PI  Wetherbee  is  teacher  of  the  infant  class,  and 
superintendent  of  the  whole  primary  department,  consisting  of 
four  or  five  classes  witli  their  teacliers, —  connected  with  the 
Baptist  church.  Mrs.  Hall  and  her  husband  have  been  mem- 
bers of  the  choir  for  a  long  time,  and  all  three  are  actively 
engaged  in  church  work. 


The  first  of  the  Whitcombs  came  from  England  some  time 
previous  to  1G33,  and  settled  in  Dorchester,  Mass.  There 
seems  to  be  a  number  of  branches,  so  far  as  we  have  been  able 
to  trace  them.  Ephraim  Whitcomb,  Sr.,  was  born  in  Littleton 
about  1700,  married  Parthias  Wheeler,  of  Stow,  in  1731,  and 
settled  in  Xasholm, —  a  part  of  Littleton.  Ephraim  Whitcomb, 
Jr.,  and  Hannah,  his  wife,  settled  on  the  farm  of  his  brother 
Daniel  —  where  ]Mr.  Ephraim  Cobleigh  now  lives  —  and  were 
the  parents  of  nine  children  :   Moses,   Reuben.  Lucy,  Ephraim, 

204        Bo.rhorougli :  a  New  Enfilmid  Town  and  its  People. 

Hannah,  Samnel,  Peter,  Martha  and  Joel.  Of  these,  Reuben 
married  and  settled  in  Harvard ;  Hannah  married  and  went  to 
Gardner  to  reside  ;  Samuel  lived  in  Boxborongh  a  number  of 
years  after  his  marriage,  and  three  of  his  children  were  born 
liere  ;  he  then  removed  to  Littleton.  Lucy  married  Paul  Hay- 
ward,  Jr.,  and  settled  on  the  place  where  Mr.  N.  E.  Whitcomb 
now  lives.     They  had  twelve  children. 

Ephraim  —  C'apt.  or  Lieut.  Ephraim  Whitcomb,  both  titles 
having  been  given  to  him  —  married  Katherine,  daughter  of 
Boaz  Brown,  and  settled  on  the  farm  where  his  father-in-law, 
Boaz  Brown,  resided,  and  afterwards  built  the  brick  house 
which  stands  there  at  the  present  time.  Mr.  Benjamin  S. 
Hager  now  owns  and  occupies  this  estate.  Of  their  eight 
children,  three  —  Ephraim,  Joel  and  Joab  —  were  unmarried; 
Betsey  married  Benjamin  Houghton  and  settled  in  Harvard. 
They  were  the  parents  of  three  children  —  Henrj^,  who  died  in 
early  manhood  ;  Jolm,  a  provision  dealer  at  West  Acton  ;  and 
Ephraim,  a  farmer  in  Harvard,  formerly,  but  now  working  at 
the  carpenter's  trade.  Hannah  married  Daniel  Cobleigh  and 
settled  on  the  old  Cobleigh  place,  opposite  Mr.  Wright's  present 
residence.  The  old  homestead  has  long  since  gone  to  decay. 
Three  sons  —  Ruel  T.,  Daniel  W.  and  Ej)hraim  B. —  are  now 
livino-  in  town.  Katherine  married  Oliver  Russell  and  went  to 
Harvard.  Edward  married  tlie  daughter  of  Jeremiah  Tuttle, 
Sr.,  of  Littleton.  Martha  married  Daniel  Whitcomb,  and 
settled  in  Boxborongh,  on  the  place  now  occupied  by  Mr.  J.  A. 
Walker,  who  married  one  of  the  daughters.  There  were  six 
children, —  James  Henry,  who  lost  his  life  in  the  late  war ; 
John,  who  married  Maria  Wetherbee,  and  settled  on  one  of  the 
old  Wetherbee  places  in  Boxborongh ;  Betsey  (Mrs.  Walker)  ; 
Sarah,  who  married  Jacob  Priest,  and  is  now  living  in  Harvard  ; 
Anna  Luella,  who  married  Marshall  Wilder  and  resides  in 
Clinton,  ^lass.,  and  Martha  Jane,  who  died  when   quite  young. 

Martha  or  Patty,  daughter  of  Ephraim  Whitcomb,  Jr., 
married  Ephraim  Taylor  and  lived  on  the  Burroughs  place. 
After  the  death  of  her  husband,  she,  with  her  four  children  — 
Ephraim.  Joel.  Reuben  and  Isaac  —  went  to  New  York  to  V\\(\ 

The    Whitcomh  Family.  205 

Joel,  son  of  Ephraim  A\'hitcomb,  Jr.,  married,  and  resided  on 
Burroughs  place  after  Ephraim  Taylor.  They  buried  several 
children.     Joel  Whitcomb,  Jr.,  i^  living  at  West  Acton. 

Moses,  son  of  Ephraim  Whitcomb,  Jr.,  married  Anna  Hay- 
ward,  of  Boxborough.  Of  their  twelve  children  several  died 
in  infancy.  Of  nine  who  lived  to  mature  years,  Sally  married, 
and  went  to  Ashby  :  Betsey  married  a  Tenny  and  v/ent  away 
from  town  ;  Daniel,  to  wliom  we  have  before  alluded,  married 
Martha  Whitcomb,  and  settled  on  the  present  AValker  place ; 
Mary  married  Oliver  AN'etherbee  and  settled  on  the  old 
Phinehas  Wetherbee  place,  now  W.  H.  Furbush's  ;  Lydia 
married  for  her  second  husband,  Mr.  Peters,  father  of  George 
L.  Peters,  of  Stow,  and  made  her  home  in  Boxborough ;  they 
had  three  children.  Moses,  Jr.,  married  Martha  Cotton,  of 
Boxborough,  and  settled  on  the  old  AVhitcomb  homestead, 
where  Ephraim  Cobleigh  now  resides.  They  buried  several 
children.  There  are  five  remaining, —  Edwin  Whitcomb,  Mrs. 
Hannah  Conant,  Mrs.  Caroline  Hosmer  and  Mrs.  Maria  Hend- 
ley,  of  Littleton,  and  Frank  Whitcomb,  of  West  Acton. 
Annie  married  Mr.  Harry  Hoar,  of  Littleton.  Paul  married 
Hannah  Bent,  of  Stow,  and  went  away  from  town ;  they  had 
two  sons.  John  —  Col.  John  Whitcomb —  married  Maria  Good- 
win for  his  first  wife;  they  had  no  children.  He  married 
Sarah  Emory  for  his  second  wife,  and  of  tlieir  five  children,  one 
died  in  infancy.  Nathaniel  Emory  married  Abbie  Blanchard, 
and  lives  on  the  old  Paul  Ha3'ward  place,  in  Boxborough  ; 
John  married  Nellie  Rand,  and  went  to  Fitchburg ;  Maria 
married  Charles  E.  Smith,  and  died  in  Holden,  in  1890  ;  and 
James  married  Edna,  daughter  of  Mr.  Granville  Whitcomb, 
and  resides  in  Fitchburg.  Col.  John  Whitcomb  married  Mrs. 
Eliza  A.  Hayward  for  his  third  wife. 

Peter,  son  of  Ephraim  Whitcoml),  Jr.,  married  Sally 
Bachellor,  and  they  were  the  parents  of  seven  children.  Myra 
married  a  Raymond,  and  went  to  Harvard ;  Peter  died  in 
early  childhood ;  Stillman  married  Adeline  Priest,  and  their 
two  children  went  to  the  Sandwich  Islands  to  live ;  Sally 
married  Samuel  Hosmer,  and   went  to    Acton    first,  afterward 

200        Boxhoyoiujh  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  Peojile. 

settled  ill  Harvard  ;  Peter,  Jr.  married  Betsey  Mead,  Jan.  2, 
1839,  and  settled  in  Boxboroiigli.  Tliej-  buried  their  only 
child,  Augustine  A.,  about  three  years  ago.  His  wife,  a 
daughter  of  Mr.  William  Moore,  died  some  years  before.  Gran- 
ville married  Caroline  Hoar,  March  4,  1841,  and  settled  in 
Boxborough.  March  4,  1891,  they  celebrated  their  golden 
wedding.  They  have  nine  children, —  A.  Granville,  Elwyn, 
Edna,  Carrie,  Myra,  Clarence,  Frank,  Eva  and  Austin.  They 
are  all  married  but  two,  and  one,  Frank,  is  settled  upon  the 
Nathaniel  Mead  farm  in  Boxborough.  All  of  the  children 
except  two  are  musicians,  and  one  daughter,  Edna,  has  been  a 
salaried  singer  in  the  city  of  Fitchburg,  where  she  resides. 
Austin  teaches  music  in  the  same  place.  Merrill  Whitcomb 
married  in  Boxborough,  went  to  Bedford,  and  afterwards 
settled  in  Chaiiestown.  One  of  his  four  children,  George, 
married  May  Wetherbee,  of  Boxborough,  and  lives  in  Charles- 

Peter  and  Ciranville  are  the  only  representatives  of  their 
family  now  living.  Ephraim  Whitcomb,  the  grandfather  of 
these  two,  served  in  town  in  various  positions  of  trust  and 
responsibility.  He  was  one  of  the  selectmen  when  the  district 
was  incorporated  in  1783,  and  held  that  position,  at  different 
times,  for  many  years.  He  also  held  the  offices  of  town  clerk, 
treasurer,  assessor,  and  he  was  a  prominent  worker  in  the 
church  and  society  when  they  were  in  their  infancy.  Moses, 
Ephraim  and  Joel,  sons  of  Ephraim  Whitcomb,  Jr.,  also  held 
office  as  selectmen  for  many  3^ears.  Moses  Whitcomb,  Jr., 
and  his  son  Moses,  held  this  office  ;  the  father  was  superintend- 
ing school  committee  at  one  time.  Peter  Whitcomb,  the 
father  of  Granville  and  Peter,  was  town  treasurer  for  nine 
years,  for  which  service  he  would  take  no  compensation.  He 
also  served  the  town  in  the  capacity  of  selectman.  Mr.  Gran- 
ville Whitcomb  has  served  the  town  as  superintending  school 
committee,  town  clerk,  selectman,  assessor,  constable  and  col- 
lector, and  auditor.  He  had  the  honor  of  being  sent  represen- 
tative   at    one    time,  and  his   fatlier,    and  two    of    his    father's 

John   Heed    Whitcomh.  207 

brothers,    Capt.   p4)liraiiii  and   Joel,  also  held  tliis  position   for 
more  than  one  year. 


Jolm  Reed  Whitconil),  avIio  died  at  his  home  in  Littleton. 
Mar.  2,  1890,  was  a  native  of  Boxborongh.  His  father, 
Samuel  Whiteomb,  lived  in  a  dwelling  which  formei-ly  stood 
in  the  field  in  front  of  Mr.  Parker's  present  residence.  All 
traces  of  the  habitation  have  long  since  passed  away.  I  (juote 
from  the  Lowell  Journal  of  ]Mar.  21,  1890,  the  following  item 
under  Littleton  :  "  Died  in  this  town  at  six  o'clock  Sunday 
morning.  Mar.  2,  John  Reed  Whiteomb,  in  Jiis  eighty-fifth 
year.  When  such  a  life  goes  out  it  deserves  more  than  a 
passing  mention.  We  do  well  to  pause  a  moment  and  reflect 
npon  what  is  gone.  In  the  hurry  of  modern  life  we  let  pass 
too  easily  from  the  tliought  the  worthy  lives  of  these  old 
people,  who  liave  kept  their  places,  and  been,  as  it  were,  the 
landmarks  in  these  old  towns.  Such  sterling  qnalities  of 
cliaracter  as  industry,  honesty,  frugality,  benevolence,  gen- 
erosity, and  reverence,  may  well  be  considered  and  emulated. 
In  his  simple  life,  '  l^ncle  Reed, '  for  by  this  name  was  he 
universally  known,  preserved  all  these  qualities.  It  ma}^  be 
said  of  him  that  his  life  was  one  of  strict  integrity.  It  is  not 
probable  that  any  one  can  i)oint  to  a  single  dishonest  act.  The 
industry  and  economy  of  this  good  man  and  his  w4fe  were  not 
to  gain  that  they  might  hoard,  but  close  upon  these  traits  fol- 
lowed an  exenq^lary  generosity  and  a  cheerful  benevolence. 
The  sick  were  not  forgotten  in  his  gifts,  and  those  well  and 
strong,  Ijut  carrying  burdens,  often  felt  them  lightened  by  his 
substantial  aid.  As  the  children  grew  np  in  the  neighborhood 
and  town,  and  went  forth  into  the  world  as  men  and  women, 
they  have  come  back  to  the  old  place  to  find,  through  what- 
ever changes,  '  Uncle  Reed '  still  the  same.  Although  for 
some  years  old  age  has  been  creeping  on  apace,  yet  he  was 
always  kind,  cheerful  and  interested  in  the  welfare  of  them  all. 
We  shall  miss  his  face  and  form  from  the  old,  familiar  [)laces. 
The  old-time  tea-drinkings  and  sports  which  have  found  ])lace 

208         BoxborotKjIi  :  a  New  England  Town  and  its  People. 

at  the  old  farm  will  be  remembered  by  old  and  young.  A 
large  number  of  friends  felt  it  a  privilege  to  '  call  around  '  for 
an  afternoon,  without  invitation,  knowing  this  hospitable  couple 
would  always  hnd  it  '  convenient '  to  receive  them.  As  he 
passed  away  on  that  calm  Sabbath  morning,  so  (quietly  that  the 
patient  watcher  by  his  side  hardly  knew  when  he  went,  we 
cannot  mourn  his  loss.  Ever  since  the  death  of  his  devoted 
wife,  some  ten  years  since,  his  has  been  one  long  prayer  to  be 
released  from  earth,  and  to  go  hence.  He  had  no  fear  to  die, 
but  gladly  hailed  the  messenger  when  he  came. 

'  And  I  am  glad  that  he  has  lived  thus  long, 
And  glad  that  he  has  gone  to  his  reward, 
Nor  can  I  deem  that  Nature  did  him  wrong 

Softly  to  disengage  the  vital  cord. 
For  when  his  hand  grew  palsied,  and  his  eye 
Dark  with  the  mists  of  age,  it  was  his  time  to  die."  " 
In   his   will  Mr.   Whiteomb  bequeathed  the  Orthodox  and 
Unitarian  societies  of  Littleton  -12,000  each,  the  income  to  go 
toward   paying    for    preaching ;      and    the   town   of  Littleton 
1)1,000,  the  income  to  be  used  in  keeping  the  AVhitcomb  lot  in 
order,  and  for  other  cemetery  purposes. 


The  name  of  Islv.  Lennet  Wood  is  intimately  associated 
with  the  early  history  of  the  town.  He  was  the  second  son  of 
Jeremiah  and  Dorathy  (Benet)  Wood,  the  fifth  of  a  family  of 
ten  children,  Henry  Champion,  the  grandfather  of  Mr.  Wood's 
mother,  Dorathy,  was  born  in  England  in  1611,  and  came  to 
New  England  as  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  Lyme  and  Saybrook, 
Conn.  His  father,  Jeremiah  Wood,  was  a  weaver,  a  yeoman, 
gentleman,  as  shown  by  account-books  and  papers.  He  was 
constable  and  collector,  later,  selectman,  and  for  some  years, 
treasurer  of  Littleton,  and  a  member  and  supporter  of  the 
church.  He  purchased  his  estate  there,  Jan.  13,  1717,  a  part  of 
which  is  still  in  possession  of  his  descendants.  He  deceived 
the  deed  from  the  town  of  Littleton,  as  explained  by  the  deed 
itself,  which  is  now  in  possession  of  Isaac  Wood,  Boston, 
Mass.     Several  generations  of  the  Wood  family  have  been  born 

The    Wood  Fnmil>i.  209 

tliere.  ^'lu  uprightness  of  character,  stability  of  purpose, 
sound  judgment,  and  high  regard  for  family  and  personal 
honor,  the  family  of  Jeremiali  and  Dorathy  Wood  was  no  ordi- 
nary family.  Jeremiah  Wood  died  July  15,  1730  ;  Dorathy, 
his  wife,  died  July  17,  1752.  Their  graves  are  side  by  side  in 
Littleton,  and  near  them  are  grouped  the  graves  of  some  of 
their  children,  grandchildren,  great-grandchildren  and  great- 
great-grandchildren  . ' ' 

On  an  old  weather-beaten  slab  in  the  hill  ])urying-ground  in 
Boxborough,  we  may  read  this  inscription  : 

•^  In  Memory  of 

Mr.  Bexnet  Wood 

who  departed  this  life 

Apr.  28th,  1797 
In  the  81st  year  of 
his  age.'" 

Beside  it  is  erected  another  stone  to  the  memory  of  his 
second  wife,  Mrs.  Isabel  Wood,  who  died  Dec.  14,  1797,  in 
the  84tli  year  of  her  age  (the  first  wife,  Lydia  Law,  of  Acton, 
died  Feb.  27,  1765,  aged  54  years,  1  month,  13  days,  and  is 
buried  among  the  Wood  families  in  Littleton ),  and  near  these 
lies  a  granddaughter,  Lois  Wood,  who  died  Feb.  1,  1782, 
aged  15  years,  2  months,  22  days.  Bennet  Wood  was  a  promi- 
nent and  enterprising  man,  as  all  his  transactions  and  business 
connection  with  his  fellow-townsmen  plainly  testify.  He  did 
very  much  for  the  formation  of  the  church,  and  afterward  the 
town,  in  the  early  days,  and  his  energy  and  perseverance 
helped  greatly  to  pave  the  way  to  success. 

Mr.  Jonathan  Wood,  the  ninth  child  of  Jeremiah  and 
Dorathy,  is  mentioned  as  issuing  the  first  town  warrant  in 
Boxborough.  He  is  spoken  of  as  an  honored  citizen,  and  promi- 
nent in  both  civil  and  military  affairs.  Mr.  John  Wood,  the 
sixth  child  of  Jeremiah  and  Dorathy,  has  descendants  still  living 
in  this  town.  He  was  twelve  years  old  when  his  father  died.  A 
large  part  of  the  real  estate  was  apportioned  to  him.  He  mar- 
ried Lydia  Davis,  of   Harvard,  Mass.,   Oct.  19,  1743.     He  was 

210        Bo.rhorongli :  a  New  England  Town  and  iU  People. 

a  constable  and  collector  at  the  age  of  twentj^-four,  a  prominent 
and  successful  man,  had  pleasant  surroundings  for  those  times, 
and  had  a  promising  young  family ;  but  death  called  him  away 
Apr.  8,  1758,  at  the  early  age  of  forty.  Lydia  Wood  remained 
a  widow  for  several  years,  and  then  married  David  Goodridge, 
of  Fitchburg.  John  and  L}- dia  Wood  are  both  buried  with  the 
Wood  families,  in  Littleton.  Dea.  John  Wood,  son  of  John 
and  Lydia,  the  third  of  a  family  of  seven,  was  born  in  Littleton, 
Sept.  3,  1747.  He  married  Lucy  Martin  in  1769,  and  settled 
upon  the  home  place,  where,  in  1790,  he  built  himself  a  fine 

The  old  homestead,  recently  in  possession  of  George  F. 
Conant,  and  now  occupied  by  Mr.  Campbell,  is  still  in  an 
excellent  state  of  preservation.  Deacon  Wood  was  one  of 
Littleton's  trusted  townsmen ;  held  various  responsible  public 
positions,  and  was  deacon  of  the  church  for  nearly  thirty  years. 
He  died  May  4,  1826,  in  his  seventy-ninth  year.  LTpon  his 
gravestone,  in  Littleton,  is  the  following : 

"  Farewell,  dear  friend  and  children,  too. 
God  has  called  me  home  ; 
In  a  short  time  he  '11  call  for  you, 
Prepare  yourselves  to  come." 

Lucy  (Martin)  Wood  was  born  in  Old  Ipswich,  Mass.,  and 
died  in  Littleton,  Feb.  20,  1836.  The  following  is  upon  her 
gravestone : 

"  Farewell,  my  friends,  my  children  dear. 
My  Saviour  calls  me  home; 
My  Saviour  calls  my  children,  too, 
Prepare  yourselves  to  come." 

CaiDtain  Amariah  Wood,  sixth  son  of  Dea.  John  and  Lucy 
Wood,  says  "My  mother's  name  was  Lucy  Martin.  Her 
father,  George  Martin,  lived  in  Old  Ipswich ;  moved  from 
there  to  Lunenburg,  Mass.  Her  ancestor,  Martin,  was  a 
weaver  in  England ;  his  wife  was  one  of  the  higher  classes  ;  her 
parents  were  opposed  to  her  marrying  a  weaver,  and  they  came 
to  America.  My  mother's  great-grandfather's  name  was 
Dergy  ;  he  was  the  King  of  England's  cup-bearer." 

»  The    Wood  Family.  211 

Amaiiah  Wood  "thoroughly  learned  the  trades  of  tanner 
and  currier,  and  carried  on  that  business  about  a  quarter  of  a 
century,  in  Bolton,  Mass.  He  married  and  had  a  large  family 
of  children  by  his  first  wife  ;  he  had  no  children  by  his  second 
wife.  He  was  an  honored  citizen,  having  held  civil  offices  of 
trust.  He  held  a  commission  as  lieutenant,  given  him  by 
Governor  Caleb  Strong  of  Mass.,  and  a  commission  as  captain. 
To  the  former  office  he  was  elected  Xov.  27,  1812,  and  the 
latter.  May  3,  1814,  and  was  captain  of  an  independent  com- 
pany later.  He  was  a  conscientious  and  upright  man,  of 
marked  ability  and  scholarly  attainments  ;  was  a  persistent 
student  all  his  life,  and  was  always  ready  for  research  in  science 
and  metaphysics ;  was  a  close  student  of  the  Bible  and  was 
guided  by  it.  He  was  skilled  in  musical  composition,  and  took 
much  pleasure  in  it.  Selections  from  his  manuscripts  were 
published  long  after  his  decease.  He  often  had  original  music 
to  use  at  the  meetings  of  the  family.  His  conversations  in 
later  years  were  masterly,  having  accurate  knowledge  and  a 
clear,  logical  mind,  thoroughly  disciplined.  In  his  last  days 
he  purchased  a  home  near  Worcester,  Mass.,  where  some  of  his 
children  had  settled.  Here  he,  and  the  estimable  wife  of  his 
early  and  maturer  years,  and  the  mother  of  all  his  children, 
rested  from  their  labors.  He  was  Ijorn  in  Littleton,  Mass., 
Sept.  9,  1785." 

Martin  Wood,  the  eldest  son  of  Dea.  John  and  Lucy 
(Martin)  Wood,  was  born  Feb.  15,  1774,  and  died  Dec.  27, 
1853.  '  He  was  twice  married. 

"  Martin  Wood  was  well  posted  in  common  historical  sub- 
jects, and  had  a  very  complete  knowledge  of  the  Bible.  He 
was  a  deacon  in  the  church,  and  a  teacher  of  the  Bible  class  for 
men  and  women  in  the  Sunday  school  for  many  years.  He 
was  a  man  of  sterling  integrity,  thoroughly  honest  and  earnest 
in  whatever  engaged.  He  had  quite  a  mechanical  talent ;  was 
ingenious  in  making  various  implements  and  instruments,  Avas 
a  good  carpenter,  blacksmith  and  cooper.  He  built  several  of 
the  school  houses  in  Littleton.  Several  pieces  of  public  roads 
Avere  contracted  foi-,  and  built  l)v  him.     He  was  a  skilful  sur- 

212        Bo.rhorough  :  a  New  England  Town  and  itn  People.       * 

veyor,  and  was  often  called  upon  to  settle  disputed  boundary 
lines  where  other  good  surveyors  could  not  agree.  He  held  at 
different  times  all  the  important  places  of  trust  in  his  town  as 
committee-man,  assessor,  selectman." 

Carshena  Wood,  son  of  Dea.  John  and  Lucy  (Martin) 
Wood,  the  fourth  child  of  a  family  of  eleven,  was  born  Nov. 
19,  1776.  He  married  Betsey  Lawrence  for  his  first  wife,  and, 
after  her  death,  Tryphena  Lawrence.      He  died  July  13,  1854. 

"  Carshena  Wood'  was  a  man  of  ability,  but  had  no  ambition 
for  public  display  so  far  as  he  was  concerned,  but  avoided,  if 
possible,  every  public  office.  He  was  an  ingenious  man,  learned 
the  cooper's  trade,  but  was  always  a  farmer.  He  first  settled 
in  Ashby,  Mass.,  but  upon  the  death  of  his  brother  John,  he 
sold  his  estate  there,  and  was  settled  upon  the  homestead  of 
his  father,  grandfather  and  great-grandfather,  and  resided  in 
the  house  built  for  his  brother  John,  near  the  house  of  his 
father,  the  remainder  of  his  life.  He  never  occupied  the  fine 
residence  of  his  father,  although  it  was  long  in  his  possession 
after  his  parents'  decease.  He  was  a  man  of  strict  integrity ; 
was  punctiliously  exact  in  all  his  engagements,  and  dealt 
honestly  with  ever}^  one  ;  was  a  good  neighbor  and  townsman, 
an  early  member  and  regular  attendant  of  his  church." 

Eunice  Martin,  daughter  of  Carshena  and  Tryphena  (Law- 
rence)  Wood,  was  born  in  Littleton,  Jan.  4,  1819,  married 
Benjamin  W.  Priest,  and  resides  in  Littleton,  not  far  from  the 
Wood  homestead.  They  had  three  children.  The  j^oungest 
child  and  only  daughter,  Arabella  Wood,  was  born  June  30, 
1841  ;  married  Mr.  George  F.  Keyes,  and,  with  lier  husband, 
occupies  at  the  present  time  the  house  where  Mr.  Carshena 
Wood,  grandfather  of  Mrs.  Keyes,  formerly  dwelt.  They  have 
a  son,  George  S.  W.,  twenty-one  years  of  age,  engaged  at 
present  in  the  machinist's  business  in  Brooklyn,  N.  Y.,  and  a 
daughter,  younger,  Mattie  B.,  who  resides  at  home. 

The  estates  above  mentioned  are  those  recorded  as  having 
been  transferred  from  Littleton  to  Boxborough,  May  23,  1831. 


Deacon  Martin  E.    Wood.  213 

Mr.  Walter  A.  Wood,  of  Wood's  ]Mo\ving  Macliine  fame, 
belongs  to  one  branch  of  the  Wood  family.  * 


Benjamin  Wood,  the  grandfather  of  Dea.  M.  E.  Wood,  of 
this  town,  was  born  in  Brookfield,  Mass.,  and  his  grandmother, 
Abigail  (Waldo)  Wood  was  a  native  of  Canterbury,  Conn. 
They  settled  in  Orange,  X.  H.,  where  eight  children  were  born 
to  them,  among  them  Nathan  Waldo  Wood,  Dea.  Wood's 
father.  Mr.  and  ^Irs.  Benjamin  Wood  subsequently  removed 
to  Alstead,  N.  H.,  Avhere  the  youngest  son,  Gilbert,  was  born, 
and  here,  this  good  man  and  his  wife,  who  lived  to  rear  a  large 
family  to  Christian  activity  and  usefulness,  spent  the  remainder 
of  their  days.  Nathan  Waldo  Wood  went  to  Claremont,  X. 
H.,  and  there  married  Ann  B.  Currier,  daughter  of  Eliphalet 
Currier.  They  were  the  parents  of  three  children,  two  sons 
and  one  daughter,  of  whom  (Dea.)  Martin  Eliphalet  Wood, 
who  was  born  Sept.  20,  1833,  is  the  oldest.  Horace  Benjamin 
Wood,  the  second  son,  married  Jeanette  Grandy  of  Vt.,  and 
resides  in  the  city  of  Worcester,  where  he  is  engaged  as  a 
molder  in  the  Iron  Foundry.  They  have  three  children,  H. 
Burton,  Minnie  and  Maud. 

The  daughter,  Mary  Abigail  Wood,  died  at  the  early  age 
of  fourteen  years.  She  was  a  fine  scholar,  and  at  the  time  of 
her  death  her  friends  thought  her  capable  of  teaching. 

Mrs.  Nathan  W.  Wood,  Dea.  Wood's  mother,  died  when  he 
was  only  eight  years  of  age,  but  the  influence  she  exerted 
throughout  those  early  years  was  one  never  to  Ije  forgotten. 
He  himself  says  of  her,  "  She  was  a  Christian  woman  and 
taught  us  the  truths  of  the  Bible  by  precept  and  example  while 
she  lived,  and  in  her  last  hours  she  was  sustained  and  com- 
forted by  them."  His  father,  who  died  in  1857,  was  also  an 
earnest  Christian.  After  his  mother's  death,  he  went  to  live 
with  a  man  in  Dalton,  N.  H.,  where  he  remained  four  years,  a 

*  The  Quotations  in  the  above  sketch  are  from  Wm.  S.  Wood's  '"Genealogy  of  the  Wood 

214        Boxborrjugh :  a  New  England  Toivii  and  its  People. 

period  which  even  in  retrospect  is  not  pleasant  to  dwell  upon, 
because  of  the  want  and  hardship  connected  with  it.  He  says 
of  this  time,  "  The  farmers  raised  their  own  wheat,  and  my 
greatest  recreation  was  in  going  to  mill,  some  eight  or  ten  miles 
distant,  for  my  employer  and  the  neighbors,"  From  his  twelfth 
to  his  eighteenth  year,  he  resided  with  a  farmer  named  Nathan 
Clark,  in  Croydon,  N.  H.,  and  the  motherless  boy's  experience 
is  again  best  expressed  in  his  own  words  :  "  Mrs.  Clark  was  as 
good  to  me  as  though  I  had  been  her  own  son."  Removing  at 
the  age  of  eighteen  to  Claremont,  N.  H.,  his  childhood's  home, 
he  remained  there  fifteen  years.  Four  years  of  the  time  were 
spent  in  the  service  of  one  man,  and  here  he  met  the  lady  who 
afterward  became  his  wife,  Juliette  Woodward,  daughter  of 
Samuel  and  Julia  (Campbell)  Woodward,  of  Chester,  Vt. 
They  were  married  in  1860,  and  ten  years  later  removed  to 
Dedham,  Mass.,  where  Dea.  Wood  had  charge  of  the  farm  con- 
nected with  the  "  Temporary  Asylum  for  Women,"  and  his 
wife  that  of  the  house. 

In  1874,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Wood  came  to  Boxborough,  and  for 
the  past  seventeen  years  have  made  this  town  their  home,  being 
settled  upon  the  old  Hay  ward  place. —  now  in  possession  of 
Mrs.  Eliza  A.  (Hay  ward)  Whitcomb, —  of  which  they  have  had 
the  charge.  They  have  one  son,  Charles  E.,  Avho  resides  at 

Dea.  Wood  had  only  a  common-school  education,  even  this 
advantage  having  been  somewhat  limited,  but  he  has  always 
been  a  great  lover  of  reading,  and  so  has  informed  himself 
upon  all  the  current  topics  of  the  day.  He  says,  "  The  first 
money  I  ever  had  of  my  own, —  which  I  obtained  by  raising  a 
piece  of  potatoes  when  I  was  about  nine  years  of  age, —  I  ex- 
pended for  a  newspaper,  called  the  '  Youth's  Cabinet.'  "  Dea. 
Wood  has  served  the  town  as  school  committee,  and  as  assessor 
for  four  years.  He  has  been  deacon  of  the  Congregational 
church  in  Boxborough  for  fourteen  3'ears, —  an  office  which  he 
also  held  previously  in  Claremont,  N.  H., — superintendent  of 
the  Sabbath  school  twelve  years,  and  has  served  in  various 
positions  connected   with    the    church  to  whicli  liis    care  and 

George    Cleveland    Wright.  215 

thought  have  been  so  freely  given,  and  for  whose  welfare  he 
has  labored  unceasingly.  He  \vas  elected  a  Trustee  of  the 
"  Literary  and  Library  Association,"  AVest  Acton,  about  four 
years  ago. 

Mrs.  Wood's  influence  as  a  patient  and  willing,  though 
quiet  worker,  in  the  church,  is  also  deeply  felt.  She  was  presi- 
dent of  the  "  Ladies'  Circle  "  quite  a  number  of  j^ears,  and  is 
ever  active  in  promoting  its  interests.  In  the  home,  in  the 
church,  in  the  sick-room,  wherever  she  goes,  whatsoever  her 
hand  finds  to  do,  she  does  with  her  might.  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Wood  have  many  friends  and  are  highly  respected  bv  all  who 
are  acquainted  with  them. 

Rev.  Sumner  G.  Wood,  of  Easthampton,  Mass.,  who  will 
be  well  remembered  by  many  of  our  Boxborough  people,  is  a 
son  of  Mr.  Franklin  Wood,  late  of  Waltham,  Mass.,  who  was 
a  brother  of  Nathan  W.  AVood,  Dea.  Wood's  father.  We 
quote  from  a  Waltham  paper  with  regard  to  Mr.  Franklin 
Wood  :  "  Of  deceased  it  may  be  truly  said  that  Waltham  never 
had  a  more  conscientious  citizen,  the  church  a  truer  disciple,  or 
home  a  kinder  or  more  faithful  head." 

Rev.  Horace  Wood,  who  died  in  Keene,  N.  H.,  in  1886, 
was  also  a  brother  of  Xathan  W.  Wood.  He  devoted  himself 
for  thirty-six  years  to  the  work  of  the  ministry,  only  giving  it 
up  when  compelled  to  do  so  by  ill-health.  It  is  said  of  him  : 
"  Wherever  Mr.  Wood  labored,  his  people  had  confidence  in 
him  as  a  thoroughly  good  man,  a  safe  and  sympathetic 
counselor,  without  any  of  those  eccentricities  of  character 
which  injure  the  usefulness  of  so  many  pastors." 

Rev.  John  Wood,  of  Fitchburg,  Mass.,  a  former  pastor  in 
this  town,  is  a  second  cousin  of  Deacon  Wood. 

1  am  indebted  to  one  of  the  Wright  family  for  the  following  sketch :  — 


He  was  born  Jan.  7,  1823,  in  Bedford.  His  father,  Joel 
Wright,  lived  in  Boxborough  at  one  time  in  the  brick  dwelling- 
house  opposite  the  Orthodox  Church.  His  grandfather's  name 
also    was    Joel,  and  Ids   great-grandfather,    Ebenezer    Wright, 

216        Boxhorougli :  a  New  Enyland  Town  and  its  People. 

lived  ill  Templetou  and  Hubbardston.  His  mother,  Dolly  H. 
Reed,  was  born  in  Littleton,  and  afterwards  taught  school  in 
Boxborough.  She  was  a  daughter  of  Ponlter  Reed,  and  her 
mother,  Molly  Hartwell,  was  a  direct  descendant  in  the  sixth 
generation  from  William  Hartwell,  who  came  to  Concord  in 
1635-36.  Ponlter  (son  of  John  Reed,  of  Lexington),  soon 
after  his  marriage  to  Molly  Hartwell,  moved  to  Boxborough, 
and  lived  on  a  farm  about  one  eighth  mile  east  of  the  centre, — 
in  a  house  nearly  opposite  that  now  occupied  by  Simon  B. 
Hager.  They  soon  returned  to  Lexington,  and  then  to  Little- 
ton, where  George's  mother  was  born.  Mr.  Wright  has  in  his 
possession  no  less  than  three  certificates  of  his  mother's  ability 
to  "teach  school;"  one  of  them  has  a  local  interest,  at  least, 
and  reads  as  follows  : — 


April  17th,  1813. 

These   may  certify  that  having  examined   Miss  Dolly  H. 

Heed,  I  do  find  her  so  well  versed  in  English  reading  and  the 

grammatical  construction  as  to  approve  of  her  in  the  employment 

of  teaching  an  English  school. 


Joseph    Willaiid,  C'lerk." 

Rev.  Joseph  Willard  was  the  hrst  minister  of  the  District 
of  Boxborough. 

Dec.  31,  1846,  he  married  Susan  H.  Davis,  daughter  of 
Jonathan  B.  Davis,  granddaughter  of  Simon  Hosmer,  and 
grandniece  of  Captain  Isaac  Davis,  who  was  killed  at  Concord 
tight.  Four  of  the  children  lived  to  grow  up,  born  as  follows  : 
Estella  M.,  Dec.  20,  1849  ;  George  S.,  July  J  3,  1857  ;  EffieR., 
June  13,  1860  ;  T.  Bertha,  June  5,  1866. 

At  the  age  of  thirty-one,  after  being  in  the  milk  business  in 
Charlestown  and  Boston  two  years,  he  engaged  in  the  coffee 
and  spice  business  as  a  member  of  the  firm  of  Hayward  and  Co., 
which,  after  twenty-five  years  of  successful  business,  united 
with  Dwinell  and  Co.,  and  soon  after  with  Mason  and  Co., 
under  the  firm  name  of  Dwinell,  Hayward  and  Co.,  the  largest 


'U.     ^ 

George    Cleaveland  Wright.  -1" 

coffee  and  .spice  house  in  New  England.  Though  always  an 
equal  partner  in  every  respect,  he  never  asked  to  have  his 
own  name  appear  in  the  firm  name. 

P^or  the  past  thirty  years  he  has  been  the  coffee  buyer  of 
the  house,  and  his  frequent  trij^s  to  the  New  York  markets  have 
made  him  personally  known  to  most  of  the  piominent  coffee- 
men  of  this  countr}^  As  a  coffee  buyer  he  has  few  equals  and 
no  superiors.  With  the  courage  of  his  convictions,  backed  b}- 
a  most  thorough  knowledge  of  the  statistical  position  of  tlie 
article  in  question,  he  has  shown  his  right  to  the  foremost 
position  in  his  department  of  the  business ;  notably  so  in  the 
rise  of  1886-1887,  when  the  Brazilian  coffees  advanced  in  one 
Aear  more  than  250  per  cent  in  value. 

From  small  beginnings,  the  firm  of  Dwinell,  Haj^ward  and 
Co.  has  seen  a  healthy  and  legitimate  growth,  and  today  dis- 
tributes the  products  of  its  extensive  factory,  located  at  the 
corner  of  Batterymarch  and  Hamilton  Streets,  Boston,  in 
almost  every  State  :ind  Territoi-y  tliis  side  tlie  liocky 

Mr.  Wright  is  strictly  a  self-made  man.  Without  rich  or 
influential  friends  to  help,  he  has  won  for  himself  a  position  in 
the  business  world  that  any  man  nnght  envy,  and  to  which  few 
attain,  and  he  bids  fair,  at  the  age  of  sixty-eight,  to  enjoy  for 
many  years  the  competency  he  so  well  deserves. 

Early  in  his  successful  business  life  — 1861 — he  buil-t  a 
worthy  home  on  the  brow  of  the  hill  overlooking  the  village  of 
West  Acton,  which  commands  a  glorious  view  of  the  surround- 
ing country.  Here  his  children  grcAV  up,  and  here  he  still 

He  has  been  pi-ominentlv  identified  with  the  Universalist 
Parish  in  West  Acton,  and  was  one  of  three  to  contribute  a 
large  sum  toward  the  erection  of  its  present  meeting-house. 

In  all  the  village  and  town  improvements,  Mr.  Wright  has 
ah^ays  shown  a  lively  interest  and  a  generous  help. 

Lyceum  and  temperance,  school  and  liln-ary,  have  found  in 
liini  a  firm  friend  and  a  most  liberal  patron. 

21 «        Bo.vhorniu/h  :  a  JVe/r  Uii;/hnid  Toirn  and  its  People. 

Though  Mr.  Wright  never  sought  prominence  in  social  or 
town  affairs  any  more  than  in  his  business  career,  yet  he  was 
chosen  vice-president,  and  afterwards  president  of  the  Farmers' 
Club  in  West  Acton,  and  served  as  chairman  of  the  building 
committee  in  the  erection  of  the  present  commodious  school- 
house  in  the  same  village. 

In  the  Legislature  of  1874,  he  represented  the  towns  of 
Acton,  Wayland,  and  Sudbury,  as  a  Republican,  with  credit  to 
himself,  and  to  the  satisfaction  of  his  constituents. 

Mr.  Wright  is  keenly  alive  to  the  times ;  is  still  active  in 
business,  and  is  no  less  enthusiastic,  in  his  support  of  the  prin- 
ciples of  Tariff  Revision  than  he  was  in  '48,  when  his  party,  at 
the  National  Free  Soil  Convention,  at  Buffalo,  after  success- 
fully balloting  for  a  Presidential  candidate,  adjourned  with  the 
allj'ing  cry,  "Van  Buren  and  Free  Soil,  Adams  and  Liberty."